Saturday in Llanarmon D.C. – sunshine and sketching!

          “Drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

                                                                          Paul Klee

What better way to make the most of a day of glorious sunshine, than to collectively heed Paul Klee’s advice and take our lines… for a walk?

From Llanarmon D.C. to Hendre Quarry is about 2 1/4 miles country walk through river-side forests, across little streams, over bridges and through cattle fields.

Starting from the Tithebarn Studios, where Diana was invigilating the Tithebarn Studios Group exhibition for Helfa Gelf, a small group of us walked from the centre of the village, up the hill leading out of the village past the Church of St. Garmon, with its Bronze Age burial mound and 2,000-year old yew trees. Leaving the road, we turned down the footpath that lead past the Old Ty Coch Barn, and through the bluebell woods of Coed Fedw. From the woods, the path lead through a sun-dappled pasture to a short lane leading to the village of Tregeiriog. Over the bridge to the other side of the River Ceiriog, then turning right at the bus shelter, we followed the road up the hill, past the Old Tregeiriog Cemetery, and down towards Pontricket Farm. There we left the road, following the tiny lane with its nine-foot high hedges on either side, back over the river, and up past Farthing Farm and into the quarry.

Hendre Quarry itself is a compact heritage landscape, full of old buildings, railway archaeology and evidence of the industries that once powered the Ceiriog valley. You follow the line of the old quarry tramway track down the hill to the entrance the quarry itself. The granite quarry is a truly impressive excavation into the hillside – totally hidden from view until you get down into it. From the quarry you can walk down past the crushing mill to the old gunpowder works, past the remains of the locomotive shed and the company offices. From the quarry, the Glyn Valley Tramway took the granite down to the Great Western Railway at Chirk and the Shropshire Union Canal at Gledrid (near where the roundabout is now).

Anyway, enough history – basically, this is all to hammer home that there’s tons of stuff to draw down at Hendre: ruined buildings, fantastic cliffs in the quarry, the rolling river with its ancient bridges – anything and everything an artist could wish for. Unfortunately, we’d started our walk a bit too late in the day to spend too much time at there this time – but we did have at least enough time to take some photos and some notes – and plan our return.

Anyone else fancy a day at Hendre Quarry before the summer vanishes completely? I’m happy to lead another walk down there – perhaps this time starting from Pandy (by Jan’s studio) so that we can spend more of our time sketching and painting. Now that we’re planning our “Ceiriog” exhibition at The Hand, it would give people interested in hanging works a chance to spend a day getting inspiration.

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