Silent Sunday….. Off to Church on Saint David’s Day


Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio, Denbighshire, North Wales

As it is Saint David’s Day, the Patron Saint of Wales, I thought it would be great to share some images of a Welsh Abbey this Silent Sunday

Located in a deep sheltered valley just to the North West of Llangollen are these rather majestic ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey.  It true name is the Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The valley is also appropriately known as the Valley of the Cross.



Valle Crucis dates back to 1201, like so many of our monasteries and major churches it was built on the foundations of much older and smaller chuch.

It was built by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor the then Prince of Powys Fadog.  A Cistercian Monastery it had all the makings of a prosperous foundation, but not everything went smoothly and it suffered due to various political and religious conflicts as well as the troubles of the Welsh Wars instigated by Edward 1st of England.

But of course, as was the way of most monasteries, it was Henty VIII and his dissolution of the Monasteries act of 1536 that brought about its destruction.

I guess we have to be grateful that today  we can still explore the Chapter House and trace the extensive foundations of what must have been a major construction.


Worth a visit for anyone visiting this part of Wales

But of course on this special day….

Best wishes this Saint David’s Day to all our Welsh friends


1st March

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday….. So off to Church

Brecon-Cathedral,-Brecon-010-bb-tt - Copy

Brecon Cathedral, Powys, Wales

The small but important Welsh Market Town of Brecon (pop approx. 8500), lying in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons, supports a very much wider agricultural community in this part of rural Powys.

Since 1920 it has also been the home of Brecon Cathedral.

The Cathedral is on an enclosed circular hill, so is quite peaceful and secluded in its own grounds.  There has of course been a church on this location for many centuries.  The original church of Saint John, a Norman construction was built in 1093.  It is also thought to have been built on the site of a much earlier Celtic Church.  St. Johns was rebuilt in the gothic style in 1215, also blessed with a new name of Holy Rood (Holy Cross) but for many centuries it suffered troubles.  The Dissolution of the Monasteries was of course the worst.

However despite it many troubles the church was renovated and eventually made the Cathedral we see today.

I described the Cathedral as peaceful and there is no better place to feel that peace than to stand in the centre of the Nave with its stone pillars and arched ceilings

Brecon-Cathedral,-The-Nave,-Brecon-011-bb-tt - Copy

The Nave, Brecon Cathedral

27th May

(C) David Oakes 2018


March 1st…..but not yet Spring. BUT it is Saint David’s Day


Llyn Padarn looking towards Yr Wyddfa

Snowdonia, North Wales

March 1st, a new month and for the Meteorological Office its is the first day of Spring. With snow cover much of the UK, I guess many will share my view that Spring doesn’t start till the Equinox on March 20th.

What isn’t disputed is that March the 1st is Saint David’s Day.

Today marks the death of the Patron Saint of Wales on this day in 589AD.

So to mark this special day for all Welsh people where ever they may live, here is a bouquet of Daffodils…. the National Flower of Wales


A Bowl of Welsh Gold

Wales. Flag

1st March

(C) David Oakes 2018