Friday, 31 October 2014

The rhiw paths of the Black Mountains: liminal ways, old beyond memory

I have written a piece for The Clearing web site on a very specific genus of pathway, a sub-group which has a particular form, character and locality but remained unburdened by formal categorisation: lonely tracks that stoically climb and crest the hillsides of the Black Mountains; shadow paths, many now no longer or rarely used other than by a small number of local shepherds and farmers, often not appearing on any map. When driving or walking through the Vale of Ewyas, incising the old red sandstone massif of the Black Mountains for twelve sinuous miles with Llanthony its primary locus, these ways – known locally as rhiws - are all around but remain unseen in plain sight; liminal lines in the landscape of the steep valley sides with no meaning or discernible pattern to the casual eye.

You can read the full article here.


  1. Eddie

    I was hoping to gain access to the full 'rhiw paths' article once again but the link no longer appeared to function successfully. I'd like to be able to point other potentially interested parties towards it - a fine piece of work on such a defnining feature of these hills.



  2. Hi Alan

    Thanks for this. Looks like they changed the URL for The Clearing website, I've fixed the link. The new one is:



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