St Illtyd’s Church, Oxwich

ELEVATED alongside Oxwich Bay, the church is almost hidden within the shadows of Oxwich Woods. There has been a Christian building on this site since the sixth Century. The current building is largely of 13th Century construction, with a 14th Century tower.

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St Illtyd’s Church, Llanrhidian

THE church was reputed to have been founded by the Celtic Saint Rhidian during the sixth century. Although dedicated to St Illtyd, the church is still strongly linked to St Rhidian. The current building dates from around 1300, though it was extensively renovated in 1858.

It is strongly linked with the military order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers.

A visit to Coughton Court

COUGHTON COURT: home to one family for 600 years

COUGHTON Court is a National Trust property near Alcester in Warwickshire. The Current Mrs Feeney and I visited it on Thursday, on the way home from our Stratford break.

The house has been home for 600 years to the Throckmorton family, one of the great landed Catholic dynasties who found themselves on the wrong side after Henry VIII broke with Rome in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

Persecuted for their faith, they risked everything on political intrigues, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot, which was at least in part planned in Coughton Court’s rooms.

We joined the National Trust soon after I retired. We were talked into it by a charming lady on the visitors information centre at an historic tinplate works and waterfalls attraction where we had gone to take some photos.

We haven’t made full use of our National Trust membership as yet. The visits we have made have been informative and instructive (not least in reviving my socialist and republican instincts); I am always left wondering how such a small country as Britain managed to sustain so many landed estates.

An Indian Summer’s afternoon in Wales

WITH the weather in Swansea today as pleasant as it was in southern Italy last week, The Current Mrs Feeney, The Daughter Who Left (But Returned) and I went for a walk this afternoon in Langland – one of the several bays on the outskirts of the city.

As it turned out, we weren’t alone.

TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF YOUR FEET: the cliff path from Langland to adjoining Caswell Bay
TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF YOUR FEET: the cliff path from Langland to adjoining Caswell Bay
ALMOST HOME: paddle boarders enter Langland Bay after rounding the headland from Caswell.
ALMOST HOME: paddle boarders enter Langland Bay after rounding the headland from Caswell.
HITCHING A RIDE: kayaker and a friend take a breather in the bay
HITCHING A RIDE: kayaker and a friend take a breather in the bay
WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME: an inquisitive seal swims along the rocky shoreline between Langland and Caswell
WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME: an inquisitive seal swims along the rocky shoreline between Langland and Caswell
UNDER SAIL: a vessel heads out of Langland for the Gower peninsular, with the hills of North Devon on the horizon
UNDER SAIL: a vessel heads out of Langland for the Gower peninsula, with the hills of North Devon on the horizon