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29 December, 2005

Walk: Celyn Woods

I'm not even sure whether Celyn Woods even have an official name; my family arbitrarily applied that one to the wooded valley ~750 m west of Celyn Horticultural College, itself about a mile west of Northop, Flintshire (Llaneurgain, Sir Fflint) and ~2½ west of Northop Hall, the village where I grew up.  It's an awkward location: just too far from my childhood home to walk to, but too local to be included when considering driving somewhere for a walk.  Hence, when my mother suggested it for a brief stroll today, I think it was only the third time I'd been there.

It's right on the line of Wat's Dyke, the contested border between Mercia and Wales, and the ruins of a Thirteenth Century fortified manor house are a Scheduled Ancient Monument nearby: Llys Edwin ('Edwin's Palace') was the birthplace and home (obviously not in that specific building) of Owain ap Edwin (1044-1105), father-in-law of Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, Prince of North Wales (1055-1137). Otherwise, I know nothing about the area; there's a ruined watermill at the start of the walk, by the old route of the Chester-Holyhead post road, but I haven't been able to discover anything about it.

That's not a major concern, of course, as I was simply out for a walk with my mother and sister, and to take photographs of the very heavy frost.

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