Goytre Wharf to Myndd Garn Wen

Chris Barber and Derek

  • Location: Goytre Wharf to Myndd Garn Wen.
  • Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Time: Approx 3 hrs
  • Walking guide: Chris Barber, South Wales Editor of 'Walking Wales' magazine.

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Walk description

Goytre to Mynydd Garn Wen is a walk blessed with variety, atmospheric medieval pathways, wonderful views and abundance of ancient and recent history.

This moderately energetic walk starts at Goytre Wharf, ending at St Illtyd's church in Mamilhad.

Highlights of this walk

The discovery of the hidden valley - Cwm Lasgarn, which literally translates as 'the valley of the pile of blue stones'. On the day of the visit though, no stones were evident?

Things of interest

Nestled in the banks of a shady brook lies the site of a Holy Well - Ffynnon Angaeron.

The well is set back into ground like a stone fireplace with a small brass bell in place of the fire.

In 1890, Thomas Thomas of Cdf noted that the well, contained pins, nails, pencils and buttons indicating that it was probably used as a wishing well at some point.

Geology on this walk

After an arduous climb, Derek arrived at the trig point marking the summit of Mynydd Garn Wen - one of the highest peaks in Monmouthshire and part of a ridge that traverses the length of the county towards Abergavenny.

At 1394' or 425 m the OS trig point is rather distinctive due to the numerous outcrops of quart conglomerate or 'pudding stone' made from white chunks of quartz (1 - 2 cm in size) set in a finer silicate or sandy matrix.

History on this walk

Adjacent to the trig point is the site of World War Two air crash, where the 'Bristol Blenheim' bomber crashed in 1940, killing its crew.

After passing the Pontypool Folly - a 38 feet tall octagonal tower, the route descends along the site of an ancient, enclosed track way - thought to be Roman. A Roman coin from the 3rd Century AD was found at the bottom of the path.

Care should be taken on this section particularly during wet weather as the original cobbled top surface is weathered smooth, and broken in places.

  • Read a detailed version of this walk on BBC Local.

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