It's the wife's last day off before she she starts another run of six shifts working. She wanted to go for a walk, and as I'd been wanting to do a recce of Llanthony Priory for a while, we made the 40 minute journey there.
It was the first time for over a year since I've used my Garmin Dakota 20 hand held navigation device. I've had it years and it shows all the UK's footpath and gives a pile of other data. About 9 months ago I saw there was an update and thought it a good idea to do it. It wasn't as the thing wouldn't start up - I later found out it's a common fault. On sending it in, Garmin would send out a factory refurbished one - cost about £85. I was a bit reluctant, but after 6 months thinking about it, it was cheaper than buying a new one, so I was trapped.
We started off the walk at the Abbey and walked to the top of Hatterrall Hill (2000 ft and 1.25 mile ascent) before walking along the ridge for 2 miles taking in the stupendous views over the Mountains on both the English and Welsh sides, before descending back to the Abbey. Total distance 3.8 miles.
I was quite impressed with Llanthony Priory. Free car parking and entry. Also, a lovely coffee shop in the grounds. Well worth a visit.
The Priory is located 8 miles North of Abergavenny in the Brecon Beacons National Park and is in the Black Mountains. The priory dates back to around the year 1100, when Norman nobleman Walter De Lacy reputedly came upon a ruined chapel of St David in this location, and was inspired to devote himself to solitary prayer and study. A church was built on the site, dedicated to St John the Baptist, and consecrated in 1108. By 1118, a group of around 40 monks from England founded there a priory, the first in Wales.
The Priory became one of the great medieval buildings in Wales, in a mixture of Norman and Gothic architectural styles. Renewed building took place around 1325, with a new gatehouse. On Palm Sunday, April 4, 1327, the deposed Edward 11 stayed at the Priory on his way from Kenilworth Castle to Berkeley Castle, where he is alleged to have been murdered.
In 1538, the Priory was suppressed by Henry V111's Dissolution Of The Monastries. It fell into ruin. The Abbey is a Grade 1(Sept 1956) listed building as is The Church of St David, next door.
The Offa's Dyke Path runs close by on the Hatterrall Ridge above the Llanthony Valley and marks the Wales - England border.
I took a lot of pictures on the walk but the aerial picture does the place most justice and gives a flavour of what's there.