Tuesday, 22 November 2011

#60.MOEL FAMAU,MOEL FENLLI Linear walk.21-11-11.

Today's walk saw me walking locally in the Clwydian Mountain's.Meeting Howie at the Clwyd Gate Motel at 9a.m. i arrived a little bit early at 8.30 so got my boot's and gaitor's on and waited for him.Luckily Howie was early arriving at 8.50 so i left my car there and jumped in his for the short drive to the village of Cilcain where we left his car by the water pumping station and we were walking by 9 o'clock.We took the lane that lead's up to the 3 reservoir's.

We took the second left turn to walk past the Cae Newydd Farm.

At the next junction we carried straight on in the direction of the Anderson Shelter.

The Anderson shelter was a decoy site to protect the Valley Works in Rhydymwyn,i found this following text about the site.......
During the beginning of the Second World War hundreds of these sites were built and there were many different types and designs. In 1941 it was decided that Valley Works needed a night type decoy known as a QF site to draw away any enemy aircraft.

The control bunker for the site was an Anderson shelter with blast walls screening its entrance. There was a steel ladder on the far wall which led to an observation hole in the ceiling which was probably enclosed as a wooden sentry box. This bunker was the control centre to ignite fires on Ffrith Mountain running up to Moel Famau. The actual fires were located in combinations of troughs and baskets filled with flammable material, some capped by tar or roofing felt and fed by fuel from distant elevated storage tanks. They were ignited from the bunker by a series of detonators set in the troughs. If you look closely on the side of the trail on the way to the bunker you might see the detonator cables.

When the site first opened it was manned by RAF personnel and later manned by Valley staff or local police. There was also no phone at the bunker in its early days the nearest phone was around 1½ Miles away, someone would have to cycle to the phone to receive orders and information about possible incoming enemy aircraft. A phone line was installed later on and there’s evidence of this near the door.

The Valley site was never detected by enemy aircraft and was the only UK military site to remain unknown during the war.

Taking the lane that run's below Ffrith Mountain now,rough at first.

And then nice and grassy,we soon got our first glimpse of the Jubilee Tower.

We took the short cut through the forest.

To reach the rough track just short of the summit of Moel Famau.

Looking back down to Cilcain and the forest we walked through from the tower.

The weather was a real bonus,the forecast's i saw was for a dull cloudy day with the chance of rain and although it was a little bit cold we had some decent spell's of sunshine and it was quite warm when we were sheltered from the wind.Heading down the main path now to Bwlch Penbarras car park we had a little altercation with 2 ladies who had 7 dog's off their lead's,1 of them chased some sheep over the shoulder of the mountain,and they were quite put out when they were told that the dog should of been on a lead.If i had a phone number for someone in authority i would have rang them to tell them about this dog.Below is the bwlch car park and Moel Fenlli.

There are 2 way's up Moel Fenlli,a very steep attack up it's north face which bring's you directly to the summit or the gentler westerly approach following the Offa's Dyke footpath with great view's over the Vale of Clwyd,we chose the latter.

The hill fort has large ramparts on all sides and a portal on the west side,here is Howie entering it.

Here you turn right and follow the ramparts south.

Eventually reaching the steep stepped path up to the summit.

Me at the summit with Moel Famau in the distance.The mountain is named after the British King Benlli who ruled this part of Wales in the 5th century.

Close up of Moel Famau.

Heading down to Fron-heulog we still had time for a detour to pick up a few small hill's that had been on our to-do list for a while,so we headed for the tumulus above the Cae Mawr Farm seen below.

From here we had a good view back to Moel Fenlli.

The cloud's started to roll in and it looked like they were carrying rain so we made for the track below Moel Eithinen and headed for Gyrn.

Close up of the mock castle with Moel Gwy in the distance.

Howie descending Gyrn.

We just made it to the car as the first spot's of rain started to fall and we then drove to the Druid in Llanferres for a pint.Within minutes the cloud had dropped down very low and you couldn't see any of the hill's,how's that for timing.This great little traverse was 7 mile long with 2,150 feet of ascent.

MILEAGE      429.5
ASCENT       106,300
TOPS           105.

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