Llandovery Cottages

A market town with a population of 2,900 situated west of Brecon on the River Tywi. In the middle of the town, standing on a rocky hillock, are the remains of a Norman castle that saw plenty of action in the C12th; this not only involved English and Welsh forces but some family feuds as well. Welsh patriot Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan is remembered by the imposing monument to him on the castle mound. Much of the castle's surviving masonry dates to the refortification that occurred under Edward I.

The National Park Information and Heritage Centre at Llandovery provides an insight into the history of the local area; an audio visual presentation about the National Park is part of an exhibition in the centre.

North-west of Llandovery at Pumpsaint is the site of the old Roman Dolaucothi gold mine which is now managed by the National Trust; visitors can obtain a firsthand glimpse of the conditions in which gold miners worked in those times.

Dan-yr-Ogof caves are reached from Llandovery by going east to Sennybridge and then south-west down the A4067. The discovery of most of what is now known as the National Showcaves of Wales was made less than fifty years ago.

The river Llynfell emerging from a cave at the base of the cliffs at Dan-yr-Ogof farm was always well known but in 1912 Tommy and Jeff Morgan had the courage to explore the cave. They used only candles to light their way and arrows in the sand to find their way back. They discovered a wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites, but they were prevented from penetrating far into the mountain by a lake.

Undeterred they returned, this time with coracles, a traditional one man fishing boat found on the rivers of West Wales. They crossed not one lake but four and discovered more magnificent passages and chambers, but again the way on was denied to them - this time it was due to tight crawl through a narrow passage.

This crawl was not passed until 1963 when Eileen Davies, a local girl and member of the South Wales Caving Club struggled through it and subsequently over 10 miles of unique caves were found. Cavers believe that this is the tip of the iceberg and that there is still much to discover.

Just south of Dan-yr-Ogof is Craig-y-nos Country Park, where you'll find tall trees, two rivers, ponds and meadows to walk around and enjoy with plenty of seats and picnic benches and a Visitor Centre.



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