I liked Abergavenny, although the livestock market was on, which I had mixed feelings about, finding poor confused creatures distressing. Apparently it will be moving before long to Raglan, and a Sainsburys will take its place which will make the town like everywhere else.
As luck would have it, the flea market was on so we had a good rummage about, Dru finding some lino cutting tools and John a rebate plane with lots of different blades in a wooden holder. I discovered a bargain Ola Gorie brooch to sell on eBay. (Or keep!)
After lunch in the cafe, we had a wander around the castle, scene of the bloody Abergavenny Massacre in 1175 when William de Braose lured three Welsh princes and other Welsh leaders to their deaths. According to the 16th century antiquary, William Camden, Abergavenny Castle has been oftner stain'd with the infamy of treachery, than any other castle in Wales. The 16th century historian, John Leland, declared that its very high walls were likely not to fall. This was before the Civil Wars, of course.
From the castle we headed for the large and rather impressive Church of St Mary, which used to be a priory.
What it lacks in the way of charm it made up for with a huge number of mediaeval tombs of knights and their women. Also, a massive wooden carving of Jesse, which once had a tree sprouting out of its middle.
All this repose reminded me of the legend that Arthur and his men are not dead, just sleeping beneath the hill until Breteyne has need of them again. South Cadbury Hill in Somerset is one of the purported sites, as is Alderley Edge in Cheshire. (Alan Garner relates this tale in his story 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen'.) Another possible location is Craig-y-Dinas in the Brecon Beacons, not that far from this somnolent bunch, and I could well believe it.
God keeping a close eye on what Gabriel is about to do with that lily while he makes his Annunciation.
The first photo shows Jesse from the Church and Sugar Loaf Mountain.
A panorama of the town, and the inscription (can you inscribe in stitchery?) Once Enemies Now Friends.
A brooding Owain Glyndwr surveys the valley.
And look, here's my Ted presiding over the Abergavenny Massacre. Yep, seems about right.