The Penrhys Pilgrimage Way is a 21 mile walk which follows public rights of way from Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff to Penrhys in the Rhondda. It’s a beautiful walk, starting at the Cathedral, following Radyr Woods, up to Radyr Heights, crossing the M4 footbridge to Pentyrch, Creigiau, Groesfaen and Llantrisant (which is as far as I’ve been able to walk so far). It then continues to Penrhys via Tonyrefail.
Going on a pilgrimage was popular in Wales from the fifth and six centuries. St David and St Teilo were the rock stars of that time. In south east Wales, the most important pilgrimage site at that time was the shrine of St Teilo in Llandaff Cathedral. By the fifteenth century, the statue of the Virgin and Child, and nearby holy well, at Penrhys in the Rhondda, was a really popular pilgrimage site, controlled by the Cistercian Abbey of Llantarnam. This 21-mile walk has been rebooted for the 21st century by a new local charity.
The route of the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way you can walk today was opened just before the COVID-19 lockdown, which has made waymarking and promotion challenging. Local storytellers, led by Steve Killick and Helen Lloyd Jones, have come together to hold an online storytelling event on 24 June 2020 to raise awareness of the walk and to raise funds.
Storytellers Michael Harvey, Cath Little, Megan Lloyd, Angharad Wynne and Francis Maxey will be on Zoom on the evening of 24 June 2020 to tell tales of the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way and the local area.
You can email ppwp2020 (at) gmail.com to be sent a link or check the Facebook page in the week leading up to the event for the Zoom link and details. There’s also a Crowdfunding page for donations to the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way. You don’t have to donate to attend the online storytelling event, but the organisers hope you will because the charity lacks the ready cash to support maintenance of the route’s website and to set up wellbeing and educational projects run by local communities along the route.
Details: Midsummer storytelling 20:00-21:00 24 June 2020 Facebook link.