Ysgyryd Fawr


Ysgyryd Fawr

Infobox Mountain
Name = Ysgyryd Fawr
Photo = Ysgyryd Fawr Geograph.jpg
Caption = Ysgyryd Fawr from the north
Elevation = 486 metres (1,594 feet)
Location = Monmouthshire, WAL
Range = Black Mountains
Prominence = 344 m
Coordinates =
Topographic
OS "Landranger" 161
Grid_ref_UK = SO331182
Listing = Marilyn
Translation = great shattered [hill]
Language = Welsh
Pronunciation = ɐs'gɐɾɪd væuɾ

Ysgyryd Fawr is the most easterly of the Black Mountains in Wales, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The name is often anglicised to The Skirrid or Skirrid Fawr, and the mountain is also known as "Holy Mountain" or "Sacred Hill".

It is 486 m high and lies just outside Abergavenny [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/84047] , Monmouthshire, about 10 miles from the English border. The Beacons Way passes along the ridge [cite web |url=http://www.breconbeacons.org/BeaconsWay/view?searchterm=Ysgyryd |publisher=Brecon Beacons National Park Authority |title=Beacons Way] .

Its distinctive shape comprises a long ridge oriented nearly north–south, with a jagged western side resulting from ice age landslips [cite web |author=Keith Rapado |url=http://www.brecon-beacons.com/The-Skirrid.htm |title=The Skirrid (Ysgyryd Fawr) Holy Mountain |date=2003-07-09] . Geologically, the presence of thick Pennant sandstones above impervious coal measure mudstones provided favourable conditions for major rotational landslips [http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BBED253F-03E8-46A7-8F8C-204FCEB6804C/0/LANDMAPVolume5EarthScienceAspectTA10MB.pdf] .

"Ysgyryd" is a word describing the hill's shape, signifying that which has shivered or been shattered [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/338572] . There is a rich mythology attached to the mountain cite web |url=http://www.btinternet.com/~llantilio/villagesite/lswebpages/folklore.htm |title=Facts and Fiction of Skirrid Fawr |author=Llanddewi Skirrid |accessmonthday=November 4 |accessyear=2006] [cite web |url=http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/35394 |publisher=The Modern Antiquarian |title=Ysgyryd Fawr |author=Rhiannon |date=2005-03-08] , including a distinctive stone known as the Devil's Table. According to legend, part of the mountain is said to have been broken off at the moment of the crucifixion of Jesus. There was a local tradition that earth from the Skirrid was holy and especially fertile, and it was taken away to be scattered on fields elsewhere, on coffins, and in the foundations of churches [Roy Palmer, "The Folklore of (old) Monmouthshire", 1998, ISBN 1-873827-40-7] . Pilgrimages were made, especially on Michaelmas Eve, to the summit.

The ruins of an iron–age hill fort and a mediæval Roman Catholic church, dedicated to St. Michael, lie at the summit. The summit [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3193] which offers glorious panoramic views [http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/42352] is easily accessed on foot from the car park shown on the ordnance survey maps, the ascent is steep initially but gradual thereafter, allow two hours for the completion and return.

Ysgyryd Fawr has belonged to the National Trust since 1939.

Rudolf Hess used to walk here when he was held prisoner at nearby Maindiff Court during the early 1940s .

External links

* Ysgyryd Fawr is at coordinates coord|51.858386|-2.970816|type:mountain_region:GB|display=inline,title

References


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