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Merthyr Mawr

Dipping Bridge, Merthyr MawrThis is the village of Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend.  It's an idyllic little settlement, as picturesque as they come, with an outstanding collection of thatched cottages positioned around an old Village Green

Despite being a relatively small village, there's plenty of interesting places to visit.  

At the entrance to Merthyr Mawr village is the 'Dipping Bridge'.  Built in the 15th century, the holes in the sides allowed farmers to push their sheep into the River Ogmore for a seasonal dip! At the side of the bridge once stood an inn, once popular with travellers on a pilgrimage to the city of St David's in Pembrokehsire.  It was reputed that the landlord would rob and murder his visitors and bury their bodies in his cellar.  When the pub was
eventually demolished at the beginning of the 20th century hundreds of skeletons were found in the basement. 

Just down the lane from the Dipping Bridge lie the remains of Candleston Castle, once a 15th century fortified mansion house, it is now an ivy covered ruin that was the centre point of ancient village of Treganlaw.

Just beyond the castle is one of the biggest sand dune systems in Europe.  It one stretched for miles, right around Swansea Bay and some of the dunes are as big as small mountains.  The dunes are an important wildlife habitat and site of scientific interest, which shelters a rich variety of plants. Parts of the Hollywood blockbuster 'Lawrence of Arabia' were filmed here.

Finally, cross the 'Swing Bridge' and over the stepping stones to explore Ogmore Castle, probably the most picturesque castle in Wales before sitting down for some well earned refreshments in the tea rooms or one of the country pubs nearby.

2 comments for “Merthyr Mawr”

  1. Andrew
    Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:51:40 PM

    Cap Coch Inn – a song by Andrew Williams

    On the road from Mrthyr Mawr the Dipping Bridge is passed,
    Eight hundred years a testament to mason’s craft and toil,
    And hidden from the road there lies the ruins overgrown,
    A hostelry notoriously known – as Cap Coch Inn.

    The landlord was a fearsome man from where nobody knows,
    A fear of the unknown is where a reputation grows,
    Bland of face and thick of face he wore upon his head,
    A cap of colour coch in Welsh – or else of colour red.

    Some said he was a smuggler or a wrecker or a thief,
    And those who stood against his will would surly come to grief,
    The revenue men thought it wise when time for duty paid,
    To find good reason not and stay away – from Cap Coch Inn.

    So travellers who arrive at Cap Coch Inn,
    It would be better if you passed,
    For if you choose to step within,
    That night you stay might be your last.

    The dipping bridge was on the route for travellers from the West,
    Water and a shelter for the horses seeking rest,
    Cap Coch spied the merchant men who tried to hide their wealth,
    He plied them with his special beer by stealth – at Cap Coch Inn.

    The Coychurch law investigated bodies washed at sea,
    No proof or charge was brought but Cap Coch’s guilt to be believed.
    For twenty years the merchant men would sometimes disappear,
    And always after tasting special beer – at Cap Coch Inn.


    Cap Coch was charged with selling stolen sheep in Bridgend Town.
    The magistrate sent him to swing and hang at Stalling Down.
    His gang dispersed and villagers took all his worldly good,
    And even children carried what they could.

    Two hundred years had passed and Cap Coch Inn just scattered stones.
    A farmer digging earth to build his breeding pigs a home.
    Police called in to view the skull lied buried in the ground,
    Ninety seven buried souls were found – at Cap Coch Inn


    So if at dusk from Merthyr Mawr you travel West to East,
    Across the bridge a wooded dell where nature lies at peace.
    You hear the 97 ghosts as they begin to pray,
    And one man who invites you in to stay – at Cap Coch Inn


  2. Andrew
    Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 at 9:13:35 PM

    Cap Coch Inn
    A song about the Merthyr Mawr Dipping bridge

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