Sunday, 11 May 2014

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my own reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. Llangollen

Q2. Cyngen (ap Cadell) aka Concenn

внимание друзья! The king's name was Cyngen, the 'ap Cadell' part of it means 'son of Cadell' and in English his name is Cyngen son of Cadell, not too sure whether they want the Welsh or English version of the name but submitting Cyngen with the 'ap Cadell' or 'son of', in parenthesis, may get you to where you want to be. Have also seen references where Cyngen is called Concenn.

The initial clues seem to place us in Denbighshire, in Wales, specifically in the town of Llangollen. The Llangollen canal (46 miles long and closed c 1944, according to some sources) starts near the settlement and terminates somewhere north west of Nantwich, across the border in England. I found several references which claim that the first Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd took place there c 1947. A novelist called Richard Llewellyn (aka Richard Dafydd Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd) according to some of the bios I read, lived in Llangollen for a while. He published a book called 'How Green Was My Valley', c 1939, which was made into a film (c 1941), about life in a Welsh mining community.

There does seem to be a heritage railway there, with some sources claiming it was eventually closed c 1968. The OS map shows what looks like a hill fort, north east of the town. It is called Castell Dinas Bran and appears to be of 12th century origin. Dinas Bran translates variously as 'Crow Castle', 'Hill of the Crow' or 'Bran's Stronghold'.

Travelling a mile and a half or so north west of the castle, would bring us to Valle Crucis abbey, which some references claim was founded c 1201 by a prince of Wales (not a king as stated in the clues) called Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor (mother Angharad). The abbey is probably named after a large cross, which was known as 'The Pillar of Eliseg'. This was erected, according to some references, by a king called Cyngen ap Cadell (died c854/855 depending on which source you check), in memory of his great grandfather, Elised ap Gwylog. It is thought by some, that the stone carver spelled the name wrong (Eliseg, instead of Elised). Some sources refer to Cyngen as 'Concenn' .

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