Today I went to the north-eastern Welsh town of Yr Wyddgrug (pronounced like: 'ear withgrig'), or you can call it by it's anglicised name: Mold. It is winter now in Wales and it was raining and overcast - perfect weather to go sightseeing and to take pictures!!
In English Yr 'Wyddgrug' means 'A Prominent Mound' because at the top of the town you will come across a Motte-and-Bailey castle, which is (or was in the case of this one) a castle with a wooden or stone keep which is on a raised bit mound, surrounded by a ditch and a wooden pallisade.
Anyway we'll come to the motte-and-bailey castle shortly. Mold is located in north-east Wales, in the county of Flintshire (where I live), and is the council town of that county. Below are three things that I visited while I was in Mold.
1. Historical Market Town
Every Wednesday and Saturday the High Street of Mold is cordained off for market stalls, stalls that sell anything from fruit and vegetables to crockery and cutlery, there's even a stall selling Welsh shirt and all kinds of Welsh gifts.
Every Wednesday and (especially) Saturday, Mold is filled with people from all over Flintshire coming to the street market, if not to buy then just to have a browse and a stroll.
Being only 3 miles from where I live (Buckley), I frequently go there to have a look around and then relax in a coffee shop just off the High Street and look at the bustling crowds going from one stall to the other.
2. Daniel Owen
Daniel Owen is a very famous 19th century novelist, famous because he was the first significant write to write in Welsh. He was born in Mold in the October 1836 and died October 1895.
His statue is displayed in what is now called The Daniel Owen Centre, a courtyard where there are also stalls selling clothes and smelly candles and the like.
I would recommend his work here, but they are all in Welsh! However you might pick up a translation of his famous works which include Rhys Lewis and its sequal Enoc Huws. It might inspire you to start learning Welsh!
3. Bryn y Beili (Bailey Hill)
In Welsh 'bryn' means 'hill' and 'beili' means 'bailey' ..easy enough, right?
So it's interested to know that throughout Wales we have castles dotted about the place, of course most of these are ruins, and there are some, like motte-and-bailey castles that have completely disappeared.
Here is a picture of what the castle looked like when it was standing:
There is nothing left of this now though, only the mounds on which the different parts of the castle sat. It dates around the 11/12 centuries, and doing that time the Welsh and the English were at each others necks. Bailey castle switched hands a few times.
The castle was pretty much abandoned and over time only the earthworks were left behind.
One interesting feature inside the castle was what you see in the picture above. I have found this a couple of times around Wales. The ones here are called the Gorsedd Stones ('Cerrig yr Orsedd' in Welsh).
These ones were erected in 1922 which were put up in honour of the National Eisteddford coming to Mold a year later in 1923. They represent the Druidic Gorsedd ceremonies of the Eisteddfod (watch out for my blog on that to learn more!).
Mold is a beautiful bordertown in north-east Wales and it is a gateway into the heart of Cymru (Wales).
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