I hope your readers, and the author of the article regarding the concern over the plans for work on the historic Monk’s Way will not mind me making a few comments regarding the route.This route linked the Cistercian abbeys of mid and north-east Wales to the sea at Aberarth in Ceredigion.

As far as we are aware, it has come to be called the Monk’s‘Trod’ since, in the 1970s, a Powys County councillor, who came from Kent, imported the Kentish dialect name for an ancient route way from his own county and applied it to this route. Unfortunately, this has become the term now used to name the route. It has no great antiquity in the area. The Abbey Cwm Hir Trust has been trying to persuade people to use the better terms Ffordd y Mynach, or, in English the Monk’s Way.The route links the abbey of Glyn-y-groes (Valle Crucis) near Llangollen, to Ystrad Marchell (Strata Marcella) abbey in the Severn Valley, and Abbey Cwm Hir, in Radnorshire to Ystrad Fflur (Strata Florida) and thence to the sea, at Aberarth. Along this route, was carried the wool exported to Ghent in Belgum, to be woven into cloth, before the Cistercians developed our own industry.

Giraldus Cambrensis, in the12th century, used this route on many occasions during his journeys.However, he used another term ‘Elenydd’ for the mountains through which the river Elen flows, and to which its name had been given, long before his time.Unfortunately, since the 18th century, at least, this area, has been called the Cambrian Mountains amongst English speakers and numerous Welsh speakers,who are not aware of the earlier natural name. This was strengthened, in the early 19th century,when the early geologists, Murchison and Sedgwick misnamed the rocks of this area Cambrian after the tract. These rocks are now called Ordovician, and the Cambrian rocks now refer to those around Harlech. This route is of great historical importance, and has been a source of much worry, by the abbey trust, and Powys County Council, due to the misuse of it by visitors with 4x4s, quads and scramble bikes.

John H Davies President, Abbey Cwm Hir Trust, Llandysul

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