I have spent most of a glorious day today in Llandre monitoring Llandre Heritage’s project based in the unusual church yard of St. Michael, Llanfihangel Genau’re Glyn. This must have been a sacred site for millennia as it has a yew tree which is nearly 2000 years old and certainly, if you were looking for somewhere to put a grave yard, you would not instantly identify this as the ideal site. In the first place it is heavily wooded, many of the beeches are 200 years old, and secondly it is on a very steep site. So there must have been some reason why our ancestors chose this place. Whatever the reason they were certainly right. It is a marvelous place, full of atmosphere, dripping with age and yet tranquil and totally at one with its setting. Caring for this hidden gem is a constant task, balancing preserving the trees and the wildlife with keeping the place safe for access. the steep slope has been overcome by burying people with their heads in the hill but their feet sticking out into an area bricked in up to the level of the ground where the headstones are, it is hard to explain but well worth visiting. As many of these graves are 18th Century there is much to maintain. The group have enhanced the visitor experience by putting up informative boards within the churchyard and a sculpture and poetry trail in the surrounding woods. Roger, my main contact, works tirelessly in his retirement to secure the funding and undertake the work.
So if you are driving through Bow Street and you have half an hour to spare turn off on the Borth road and go over the railway to the church. You will not be disappointed, whether your interests are in nature conservation, heritage or ‘spirit of place’ this site is something special. Jo National Trust EW development Officer