Craig Syfyrddin

Offa’s Dyke Path to Grace Dieu

16-17 km, depending on route taken

At SO 31857 22539, south of Cwm-iou, the Cistercian Way rejoins the Offa’s Dyke Path near Bwlch Trewyn.

The Offa’s Dyke Path is still the best way south from below Cwm-iou – it gets you across the railway line and the main road, both difficult crossings (and the road could probably do with a bit more notice for drivers) and across the fields to Llangattock Lingoed. Llangattock has a pub and places to stay.

And the church – http://www.villagealivetrust.org.uk/what-to-see/churches/st-cadocs-church . (More details below.)

But eventually you have to tear yourself away. The ODP would take you all the way to Monmouth, but the Cistercian Way diverts to visit  the remains of a Cistercian grange. Lots of pictures for this section on the blog at https://cistercianway.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/llangatwg-to-llanfaenor-joining-the-dots/ and https://cistercianway.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/pushing-up-the-borders/ .

Leave the churchyard by the south gate, following the ODP waymarks. Walk down the field and over a footbridge to turn left on the lane. At SO 36244 19009 follow the ODP waymark across the field to a footbridge at SO 36422 18751. Leave the ODP here and turn left down a very muddy bank and across another footbridge at SO 36509 18746. Bear slightly to the right up the next field to a stile in the far hedge at SO 36799 18904. Continue on the same line across the next field heading for the impressive Jacobean chimneys of the intriguingly-named Great Pool Hall. (This is a timber-framed gentry house of a kind you would be more likely to find in town – more details at http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/300001924-great-pool-hall-grosmont#.WMqd46JBrIU.)

Cross the road at SO 37057 18999 and walk down through the yard of Great Pool Hall, between the house and the stables. Go through a little gate ahead of you and walk along the right side of the hedge. Cross the stile at the far left corner of the field and keep on the same line bearing right towards a stile in the fence at about SO 37554 18827 (the stile is difficult to see and the fence isn’t on the map).

Look up to your left and you can see the huge mansion of Glen Trothy, built in the 1880s at the height of the Victorian passion for Scots Baronial architecture. It was built for the Vaughan family, who were Catholics, and has a lovely little chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart (http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/300014407-glen-trothy-house-including-attached-sacred-heart-chapel-llantilio-crossenny#.WMqeo6JBrIV ). The house isn’t open to the public. (If you Google for places to stay nearby you may find the Glen Trothy Caravan Park but that’s nowhere near – it’s in Mitchel Troy, south of Monmouth.)

Scramble down the bank below the stile, turn left on the metalled drive, immediately right over a little bridge and immediately left up the bank. You are now on the line of the Three Castles Way – a promoted route, and reasonably well waymarked. Cross the road at SO 37675 18743, scramble up the far bank (there are steps but they are worn) and over the stile. Bear up to the right across the next field to a stile about ⅔ up the far fence. Continue bearing round to the right past Cae Scybor. Cross the drive and walk to the left of the hedge ahead of you. When the hedge bears to the right, keep straight on to cross a stile at SO SO 38102 18930. Bear slightly to the left across the next field. The map shows the RoW going along the hollow lane at the far side of the field but this can be very muddy (police have put warning signs about off-road activity) so the RoW is now (2017) waymarked along the far edge of the field to a stile and gate at SO 38295 19093.

Turn left and walk along the lane. Turn right on the metalled road and right again at the fork following the sign for Cat’s Ash. In about ⅔ km you reach Llanfair Cilgoed, site of Dore’s grange.  (Details below.) You can cross the stile at SO 38976 19088 and walk diagonally across the field to look at the earthworks of what may have been fishponds and vineyards.  

 

 

From the modern church, continue down the lane and just past the churchyard there is a gate in the hedge which gets you back into the grange field. The foundations of the old church are in a small railed enclosure ahead of you.

Pick up the footpath again, walk below Llanfair Grange farmhouse and bear left to the far left corner of the field. The stream is culverted here but it is still very muddy. Immediately over the stream, turn left and cross a stile. Bear right across the next field and head for the far right corner (the woods marked on the OS map are no longer there). Cross a stile and turn left on the main road by the 1861 restaurant (http://www.18-61.co.uk/ - maybe a bit posh for walkers but might be good for an evening-out  treat).

Past the restaurant, take the next turning to the left. At SO 39947 19229 (opposite The Laurels) take the waymarked footpath through the gate to your left. Walk to your right and gradually downhill to a gate at SO 40187 18976. Continue parallel with the stream to another gate (with a rather battered stile) at SO 40368 18652. Turn left on a roughly metalled road. After the bridge, this becomes a muddy lane going steeply up hill. At the top it becomes very overgrown and so muddy as to be impassable (more off-roading, but this is technically a byway for vehicles so it’s legal) but it’s easy to get into the field to the right and walk along the hedge.

Turn right on a metalled road and follow it to Llanllwyd. Go through the farmyard at Great Llanllwyd and straight on along a lane (this one a restricted byway – horses but not motorised traffic). After the dogleg in the lane go straight on through the gate ahead and to your right, and walk down hill to the right of the hedge. When you pass under the pylons, go through the gate to your left and continue on the same line but to the left of the hedge. There is a slight hollow trail along the hedge. At the bottom right corner of the field, go through a gate and down a lane to the ford and footbridge at Little Mill.

The lane is overgrown at the bottom but passable. When you get to the stream, cross the narrow footbridge and walk up the far bank. Turn right and walk above the hedge, cross a stile and turn left on a rough track up towards the farm. Through the gate, turn right and follow the roughly surfaced track up to Llanfaenor. From there the best route at the moment is down the very minor road to Onen, past Llandishty Cottages. There are no end of other Llan names in the area – Llandishty, Llancreaver, Llanllwyd. Llanfaenor and Llanllwyd (now a farm) are both recorded as chapelries of the great mother church at Llangatwg Feibion Afel – you have to wonder if the others were as well.

Cross the old Abergavenny-Monmouth road and continue down to Llanfihangel Ystum Llywern. Here you rejoin the OD path to Grace Dieu. It means a few miles of road walking but the road is very quiet and there are lovely views across the rolling hills of north Gwent.

Offa’s Dyke Path to Grace Dieu

Places to visit along this route

Places

© Cistercian Way / Privacy Policy