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Wilder Wales

Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • Author: Ivor Wynne Jones
  • Publication June 2001
  • Format: Paperback, 232 pages

A fascinating A-Z collection of 110 varied topographical studies of villages, towns and buildings in North Wales, being contributions originally submitted by the author to the 'Out and About in North Wales' series in the Daily Post from 1990 to 1994. 33 black-and-white photographs.

Gwales Review
In the early 1990s, the fortnightly ‘Out and About in North Wales’ features which appeared in the Daily Post were so popular that readers compared them to George Borrow's Wild Wales. The author has compiled 111 of these features in alphabetical order, each dealing with a different place in north Wales (and one little-known corner of Wales in Belgium).

The style is that of short newspaper features, capturing the flavour of the localities described, and there are quirky snippets of local history not always readily found in guidebooks. These strange stories include Beaumaris's role in the death of the heir to the Prince of Wales in 1892, and the curse put on the Beaumaris church clock by an innocent man who was hanged for murder.

Well-known places like Beaumaris and the old streets of Caernarfon are clearly promising subjects for features, but places normally considered off the beaten track can prove at least as interesting. Carmel, near Caernarfon, is not the most obvious place to look for a Greek Orthodox monastery, but Father Demetrius explains that Caernarfon castle, visible from Carmel, reminds him of Byzantium, and argues that the early Celtic Christians were of the Orthodox faith. However, his monastery is not authorized by the Greek Orthodox Archbishop for Great Britain.

The Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay had a colourful previous existence as a lookout post during the Tithe War. It was also the proposed site for Dr Walter Whitehead's house. His bride-to-be, however, found the remoteness of the place so frightening that she went back to Manchester. Dr Whitehead never married and the house was never built, except for the gatehouse, now the zoo's offices. The Gorsedd circle at the zoo was erected for the proclamation of the National Eisteddfod in 1909, but the actual Eisteddfod was held on Rydal fields, a far more accessible location.

The author has overcome this pitfall by updating the features where necessary. The date at the foot of each article is that of its original appearance in the Daily Post, but the features have been updated where appropriate and subsequent events, such as the closure in 1999 of Living Waters Christian Centre, are noted.

Iolo Wyn Griffiths