As Christmas rapidly approaches a glorious summer on the Gower recedes into memory. Early morning walks with Alfie down to Pwlldu, a dip in the (relatively) warm sea, and back home for breakfast, all by 7.30am. And then, the magnificent autumnal sunrises………….what a spectacular sight. I reckon these are more spectacular than the Key West sunsets in far off Florida Keys.
I consider my self very fortunate to live in such wonderful surroundings. Nearby Three Cliffs Bay has just been nominated as one of the top 20 beaches in Europe. I understand this is singer Catherine Jenkins’ favourite spot in the world. Perfectly understandable. The signature hole on Pennard Golf course is the 7th, not only because the fairway passes between a 12th Century castle and a 14th Century church but because the view over Three Cliffs Bay is stunning.
This year a group of local artists received funding to create and deliver a number of iconic sculptures to place along the coastal path to celebrate the beauty of the landscape. The area behind the 16th green at Pennard Golf course was selected, and a sculpture in wood erected which directs the eye towards Three Cliffs Bay
This morning on my way back up the valley from Pwlldu Bay I had just turned left away from the stream onto the path to take me back up to Hael Farm. I had to take a detour from the usual path because a torrent of water was pouring down the middle of it. But I made a discovery, the remnants of a lime kiln from days way gone by. It was a dank and rainy morning, and I could just imagine smoke gently billowing from the chimney of the kiln and the workers huddling around it for warmth.
Lime was an important part of the local economy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was shipped across to Devon and traded for various commodities, some legitimate, some illicit. The two dwellings in Pwlldu were originally hostelries catering for the seamen plying the trade across to Devon. Hael Farm House and Great Highway Farm on the road between Pennard and Kittle were the repositories for the contraband