Its the deep parts of the Black Mountains that attracts me, the places off the well worn track that also hold a story or two that continue to pull me back. Couple that will some good ol welsh hills weather and you have a perfect photography session.
We climb up above the Monastery, which as one would imagine located in this obscure little valley has a somewhat colourful history. With a fair few characters thrown in for good measure. Our story starts with a one man carry on film, disaster, action hero known as Walter Savage Landor, owner of the then rapidly sinking llanthony estate. He was to clash head on with another notable charter Joseph Leycester Lyne aka Father Ignatius a man who Gladstone regarded as ” one of the greatest orators of his day”. At sometime in the late 1860`s Ignatius fell in love with the ruins at llanthoney abbey and wanted to set up a medieval type monastery but he failed, not surprisingly to persuade our man Landor to part with the Abbey. In a huff Ignatius stormed off up the valley towards Capel Y Ffin and set about building his dream Monastery, which was thrown up on a shoestring budget but he still managed to establish a monastery which run for over 40 years. As these things do it slowly fell into decline and that`s when another character pops into the valley and buys a ruin in the welsh hills. Eric Gill a true Arts & Crafts man, moved in a set up a retreat for the ” off the wall ” and arty types and it wasn’t long before the stories of great parties, orgies and other deviant behaviour flowed down the river Honddu and out into the news rooms of fleet street. Now it is a quieter place tucked away in a corner of the Black Mountains but its over shadowed by a massive Darren (welsh for cliff face) and almost a savannah like grassland.