Sacred Places of Wales

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The Gower Peninsular

Gower Pennisular
Only 15 miles long by four to eight miles broad, officially designated in 1956 as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain, the peninsular contains three National Nature Reserves and 21 sites of special scientific interest. Many of its scenic lands are owned by the National Trust and are thus preserved from unsightly development. Once the home of many animals now extinct, Gower was also home to primitive man: Paleolithic remains have been found in caves such as Paviland.

On your circular tour, you will travel west through Bishopston, noting the very English character of the place names in this part of south Gower, for this was Norman territory, not Welsh. Near Pennard is the village of Parkmill with its Parc le Breose Burial Chamber. At Reynoldstone, on a high ridge of open common land known as Cefn Bryn (Kev'n Brinne), you can see Maen Ceti, (Mine Ketti) known in English as Arthur's Stone -- a large burial chamber capstone formed of a block of millstone grit, 14ft by 7ft, weighing about 25 tons. Legend has it that the capstone was thrown to its present location from a spot seven miles away by King Arthur, who was troubled by the "pebble" in his shoe.

Gower Pennisular WalesFor centuries, girls wishing to test the faithfulness of their lovers have been known to crawl at night around the stone at least three times, on their hands and knees, willing their lovers to appear. If the young men failed to show up, then this was a sure sign of their ineligibility as future husbands. The ghost of King Arthur is said to appear from time to time around the massive cromlech. Just down the road (A4118) towards Penmaen (Pen Mine) is another large burial chamber, consisting of a deep forecourt, a gallery with two pairs of side cells and an oval cairn.

The next stop on the pilgrimage beckons -- St. David's in Pembrokeshire, in the far west of Wales. On your way, however, you must stop for a short while at Laugharne, the place most often connected with Swansea-born poet Dylan Thomas, thus a spot most sacred to all who love modern literature.

Next Stop: Laugharne
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