Tintern’s Hidden History

The route is a mixture of green lanes, forestry tracks and tarmac lanes. There are steep uphill climbs out of Tintern on either side of the Angidy Valley. The route is way-marked. Look out for these along the way. Numbers on the map relate to numbers in the text. You can start at any point and go in either direction (these directions follow a clockwise route). This route links up with the northern Wye Valley trail, Whitestone, Whitebrook and the Wye.

Technical sheet
No. 3536210
A Devauden walk posted on 07/07/20 by Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Update : 07/07/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h20[?]
Distance Distance : 10.84mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1516ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1539ft
Highest point Highest point : 797ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 121ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Devauden
Starting point Starting point : N 51.682467° / W 2.716282°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) Start at Fedw Wood Car Park where two main forestry tracks leave the car parking area. Take the track on the left past a forestry barrier and keep straight on until reaching another barrier just before the road at The Cot. Turn left along the road for a short distance until you reach the red telephone box.

This area has strong associations with the horse world. Olympic riders Richard Meade and David Broome were born locally and rode through this area, whilst the original National Hunt race course at St Arvans was built by Henry Clay who lived at nearby Wyndcliffe Court.

(1) Turn right here signposted Tintern Cross and walk through the residents’ parking area to a gate into the wood. Go through the gate and along the forest track in Ravensnest Wood, which was once a tree nursery, passing an old metal barrier. Keep straight on for approx. ½ mile. Look out for a track coming uphill and joining on the left. Straightaway there is another track on the left going downhill. Take this track until reaching the main forest track. Turn left here, passing a highway barrier and soon after coming out onto a metalled road.

(2) Turn right, with the babbling Angidy Brook on your right, and continue along the road past a number of fishing ponds until you reach a junction by a small bridge. Go right over the bridge (just below Cross Farm) and follow the road around keeping the ponds on your left. At the next junction keep right, signposted for Tintern, and continue on the road down the Angidy Valley for about a mile.

This bridge, adjacent to Cross Farm, marks the route of an ancient road from Chepstow to Chester. Harnessing the power of the swiftly flowing Angidy river, this Valley was one of the earliest industrial centres in the UK. Iron and wire were made here from the 1560s and by the 19th century Tintern’s industries stretched for two miles along the Angidy as far as here. A leat, (a little canal) that carried water to the Upper Wireworks site can still be seen on the hillside to your right. It looks like a level track which winds around the hillside, crossing a small aquaduct and continuing to your left.
The Upper Wireworks were located on the bend and the stone walls on the right above the road are now the only evidence marking the site. In the early 1800s ironmaster Robert Thompson owned this wireworks and a string of industrial sites stretching down the valley from here. Hundreds of people were employed in these hot, heavy industries and there were at least two pubs here at Tintern Cross, where wireworkers could quench their thirst.

(3) If you are on foot you can take the footpath off to the right beyond the cottages (signposted Glyn Wood). This is a good place to watch for dippers and other wildlife. Walk on past a dam and keep the stream on your left. There was another mill here – the Tilting Mill. The footpath now follows the route of the leat which carried water from the Furnace Pond down the valley to Chapel and Middle Tongs Mill. Just before the houses on the left two channels run off to the left. This was to feed the waterwheels at Chapel Mill and the Middle Wireworks.

(4) At the road, turn left and walk down hill to join the main road and turn right. Horses and bikes should continue along the road past the pond until reaching the houses on the right, including Chapel Cottage which may have been the site of Chapel Mill. The route now continues along the road with the Angidy on your right.

Look out for Crown Cottages, the site of another mill, on your right. A little further along is the former Bible Christians’ Church and Valley House, which was probably an ironmaster’s home.

(5) Now look out for a forest track on the left which climbs uphill. (If you go past the Cherry Tree you have gone too far.) Take this left turn. There is a steady climb uphill into Lower Hale Wood. At a ‘T’ junction of forest tracks turn left and continue uphill until reaching a cross roads of tracks, with a barrier on the left. Keep straight on uphill to Upper Hale Wood and eventually out onto a metalled road.

(6) Turn right along the road and take the next left after about 100 metres. Carry on along the road, passing Whitelye Common Reserve on the right. Follow the road around to the right, keeping the old chapel on your right. Keep on this road past a turning on your left and around a right hand bend until you reach a sharp left hand bend.

(7) On the bend take the path on your right, signposted ‘Tintern’ and continue back into the wood. Very soon the path splits. Take the right hand track, passing over a small stream and sign to ‘Barbadoes Green’ on the left. Continue straight on up the hill until you reach a junction of 3 paths. Take the first path on your left until it reaches the main forestry track. Go straight on uphill. Take the second turning on your right along a stony track until you reach crossroads. Head straight across, and continue under the fir trees. Stay on this track until you start to descend to the main forestry track that you climbed earlier.

This exotic name (‘Barbadoes Green’) may come from the West India Company; two proprietors of the West India Company were living in this area in the 1850s. The Morris family of Tintern were also well connected with the Caribbean.

(8) At the forestry track, turn left and head down hill, going straight across at the junction of tracks (barrier on right), and continue downhill as the track winds through mature trees. Just after crossing a stream culvert, turn right eventually meeting the metalled road through the Angidy Valley.

(5) Turn left, passing the former Cherry Tree on your right. Continue for a short distance until reaching a car park on the left.

This is the site of the Lower Wireworks. The large wall is all that remains of a complex of seven buildings which for three centuries produced thousands of tons of wire and employed hundreds of workers. Some of the finest wire in the country was made here in the 16th century, and shipped as far away as Turkey and the Barbary Coast.

(9) Turn right out of the Lower Wireworks site and retrace your route a short distance to the first turning on the left on the bend. Carry on uphill between the cottages with the Old Bakery on the left. Continue up this narrow road until the road forks. Take the left fork and continue uphill. (This section is fairly steep.)

(10) Take the first turning on the left, signposted Butchers Hill and Churchgrove, onto a wide forestry track. There are two footpath signs on the right of this track, but keep straight on until you reach a junction of paths, just after a picnic table on your left, from where you can enjoy the view across the valley to the river.

(11) Keep straight on here, taking the middle path, slightly uphill, until reaching a sharp left hand bend after which the track forks. There are some houses to the left, but take the footpath on the bend, to the right, which leads uphill through the wood. Continue through a gate until bearing right to cross a stream. Straight after the stream turn left heading for a gate into a field. In the field turn right and follow the hedge line (on the right) to Penterry Farm. Go through the gate in front of Penterry Farm turning left onto the lane.

(12) After a short distance turn right, immediately before the next house on the right, a barn conversion, going through a gate into a field.

(13) Continue diagonally across the field to the opposite corner of the field heading for a second field gate, right of the barn. On a clear day you can use the radio masts as a point to head for. Pass through the gate and continue in the same direction, heading towards Penterry Church and the masts. As you approach the church look for a third field gate to the right of the Church approx 40m away. (There is only pedestrian access to the church at this point over the stone stile.) Go through this gate and continue along the enclosed track to the metalled road.

(14) At the road, turn left. (If you would like to visit the church turn left into the church car park and field.) Keep on the road until you reach the first turning on your right down a narrow no through road. Follow the road down until you come to a turning on your left on a right hand bend just before the entrance to The Tout.

This unusual name is probably short for The Lookout. The area does have wonderful views across the Fedw Woods to the Black Mountains and Hay Bluff (on a clear day), but it is more likely there was a fire lookout here in the past.

(15) Take the left turn and continue along the edge of the wood until you come to a gate that takes you into Fedw Wood. Pass through the gate and continue straight on along the forest track until you come to a junction of forest roads. Continue straight on down the hill until you reach the car park back where you started. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 653ft - Fedw Wood Car Park
1 : mi 0.45 - alt. 568ft - Red telephone box
2 : mi 1.33 - alt. 358ft
3 : mi 2.36 - alt. 236ft - Cottages
4 : mi 2.95 - alt. 177ft - Road
5 : mi 3.23 - alt. 144ft - Forest track
6 : mi 4.76 - alt. 797ft - Yew Tree House
7 : mi 5.32 - alt. 659ft
8 : mi 6.94 - alt. 600ft
9 : mi 8.09 - alt. 131ft
10 : mi 8.49 - alt. 344ft - Signpost to Butchers Hill and Churchgrove
11 : mi 8.76 - alt. 361ft - Middle path
12 : mi 9.25 - alt. 584ft - Penttery Farm
13 : mi 9.34 - alt. 574ft - Field
14 : mi 9.95 - alt. 725ft - Road
15 : mi 10.19 - alt. 705ft - The Tout
D/A : mi 10.85 - alt. 650ft - Fedw Wood Car Park

Useful Information

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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