Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Serenity, I could think of so many places in North Wales where I have felt serene. Talacre Beach on a cold winters day, Cwm Idwal, Llyn Cowlyd, the Denbigh Moors. Even Dinorwic Quarry seems so serene now despite it’s industrial past, when it must have been a height of activity. All have their own unique points but one place that has always struck me with it’s simplicity and serenity is Llangelynin Church which I’ve visited more than once.

Weekly Photo Challenge Serenity

Situated high in the hills above the Conwy Valley and the village of Henryd, at 900 feet, Llangelynin is considered to be one of the most remotest churches in Wales (53.2458°N 3.8730°W). I have visited Llangelynin several times over the years and it never ceases to amaze me how quiet it is there. Standing on the hill to the side of the church and looking out over the valley you feel as though you are alone in the world, that is, apart from the sheep, birds and maybe the odd hill walker who happens to be passing by. But it is quiet most of the time and the views are magnificent.

The very secret of life for me…was to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquillity. I had picked a life that dealt with excitement, tragedy, mass calamities, human triumphs and suffering. To throw my whole self into recording and attempting to understand these things, I needed an inner serenity as a kind of balance. – Margaret Bourke-White

Inside Llangelynin you will find a simple church. Stone floors, wooden pews, a small wooden table for an altar and plain leaded glass windows. Some imitation flowers provide a splash of colour but the simplicity of the church remains. Sit down in one of the wooden pews, take a moment and enjoy the peace.

Llangelynin Church Interior

Although Llangelynin is quite simple inside writing on the wall in front of you shows the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, in Welsh. The inscription “Fear God and honour the King”, together with scrollwork, can clearly be seen today, as can a skull and cross-bones. Whilst I was researching Llangelynin using Wikipedia I discovered that the writings were covered by a whitewashed wall so it must have taken some skill to reveal them without too much damage.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip to Llangelynin with me. It is relatively easy to get to by car but you need to park about 100 metres away and walk up a farm track

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Llangelynin is not the easiest building to find if driving by car but it’s well worth the visit. The signposts to the church could be better and the first time I visited I got lost in the narrow single track lanes leading from Henryd so I’ve included a map for anyone considering driving to the church. Winter may not be the ideal time as the road is narrow and steep. For the walkers, apparently the church is not named on an Ordnance Survey Map but you can find it at reference SH751737 or (53.2458°N 3.8730°W). Services aren’t held in the church that often, usually summer and special occasions so it’s open to visitors most of the time.

Abandoned Buildings In Plenty

Wales has an amazing industrial heritage and here in North Wales we have some great historical relics that you can visit. The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is one of my favourites but behind the museum is Dinorwic Quarry, which was the second largest slate quarry in the world when it was in operation. Much of the quarry is now fenced off but you can still walk around certain parts of the quarry following the Slate Trail.

Abandoned

You will get to see some of the old buildings and definitely get an impression of the sheer size of the quarry, but some of the best buildings are in the fenced off part. Strictly speaking you cannot enter this area but I’ve seen an awful lot of photographs from “behind the fence”

This weeks challenge is Fray and I think you’ll agree that this old building certainly looks frayed. But wait there’s more. I’ve been back to Parys Mountain on Anglesey. At this time of the year the heather is in full bloom and I was hoping to catch some of the fantastic colours of purple along with the yellows, oranges and reds.

Danger

Not quite as good as I thought it was going to be, maybe next week. Tell you what though. It might look sunny here but the wind was howling and cold as well. It was difficult to keep the camera and tripod steady to take this photograph.

Not far from Parys Mountain is Porth Wen, the old brickworks on the coast. Dave Sallery gives an excellent description and history of the brickworks which is well worth reading. Access to Porth Wen is prohibited due to it being Private Property but it can be viewed from the Coastal Path.

Porth Wen

Interestingly though you will see lots of photographs that were not taken from the coastal path. That’s on the hill above Porth Wen. You can see there’s lots of erosion on the cliffs so you have to be careful if you decide to visit Porth Wen by climbing over the metal gate you can see from the coastal path. Around that area there are lots of ferns and prickly gorse bushes. Anglesey Hidden Gems has some useful information about walking the coastal path taking in some of the historic sites on route.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you will agree that all of the buildings look frayed and as usual I’d love to hear your views on this post. Should you wish to use any of the photographs, you’re welcome to do so as long as you respect my licensing conditions, which are basically, use a photograph, credit me with a link back to my blog. Full licensing conditions can be found on the menu at the top of the page.

13 Steps To Emergency Help

Apparently a good way of attracting readers to your blog is to include a number in your post title. You know the type I mean;

  • 5 surefire ways you can….
  • 10 websites you must…
  • 7 steps for …..

Oh! And don’t make your post title too serious. Oops! Slipped up there. Or did I?

The Quarry Hospital

Now you can see that there are more than thirteen steps here. Probably about sixty, but I could hardly say;

60 Steps to Emergency Help

Or could I….

Anyway this weeks photograph for the Weekly Challenge is from Llanberis, North Wales and shows the Quarry Hospital Museum. Inside you can see some of the original medical equipment from the period around about the 1800’s. There’s also a ward that has been restored, an operating theatre, even an X-Ray Machine, and my personal favourite a gory display of amputating equipment along with the mortuary.

The hospital was opened to treat the men of Dinorwic Quarry, which with over 3000 workers at it’s peak had a lot of accidents. Elfin Safety wasn’t a consideration then. At least, not as much as it is now. Consequently, broken bones, lost fingers, and crush injuries were common-place and having the hospital near to the place of work meant the men could get back to work, quickly, after being treated. Interestingly the hospital remained open until the 1940’s.