Llantilio Crossenny to White Castle

Mark Langley and Derek Brockway

  • Location: Llantilio Crossenny to White Castle (SO 398 149).
  • Distance: Approx 5 Miles circular walk.

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Walk description

This circular walk was a moderate stroll across undulating countryside, starting and ending at Llantilio Crossenny church.

En route Derek visited an old motted house, saw the spectacular defences of White Castle and strolled along a popular section of Offa's Dyke Path.

Accompanying Derek on the walk was Mike Langley - Countryside ranger for Monmouthshire countryside services.

Highlights of the walk

The church has four wooden beams used for support which were sourced from one single 60 foot oak tree, for modifications in 1709.

A 'Green Man' carving, set into the church wall is an unusual sight and represents a pagan fertility symbol inside a Welsh church.

The route Derek took forms a part of the Three Castles Walk - a 20 mile circular walk between White Castle, Grossmont and Skenfrith castles.

The walk has 12 stiles and 15 gates including a number of unique hinged swing stiles - similar to the normal wooden stile but including a hinged top section - invented by Mark after discussions with local farmers.

History on this walk

Llantilio Crossenny church dates back to 6th century when a local chieftain Iddon asked St Teilo for help in a battle against the Saxons. Teilo planted his cross and prayed to God.

The Saxon's were defeated and Teilo was given 27 acres of land on which he built the church. Teilo ended his career as Bishop of Llandaff.

Some controversy surrounds the naming of White Castle. The Norman's regularly painted their castles white.

Alternatively it may have been named after Gwyn (White) the Welsh Lord who owned the castle at the time of the Norman conquest.

Towards the end of the walk the route passes past 'Hostry Inn' - The second oldest public house in Wales, first mentioned in 1549. Sadly the pub has now closed and is a residential property.

Nature on this walk

William ap Thomas, set up a deer park which was used up until the Civil War at Park Farm.

There are a variety of trees in new woodland, including elder 'the witch's tree'.

Stunning views over the hills and mountains from the folly tower.

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