VIEW FROM THE FARM GATE: Tradesmen's Entrance for the Peasants
Byline: Nia PARRY
WE HAD a successful Eisteddfod at the Faenol Estate in Bangor: apart from the rain, the mud and the queues, that is.
Getting a glimpse of what was once behind the Faenol wall was interesting: it was intriguing to see how the "werin" were kept out.
There are many similar walls in Gwynedd today which we often pass in the family car. Invariably they pique the curiosity of the children who always ask "what's behind the wall?"
Our local estate is Broom Hall, near Pwllheli. Before it was restored we used to enjoy walks through the woods and marvel at the rich architecture.
Talhenbont Hall, with its electric black and golden gates near Llanystymdwy, is now open to the public, even boasting a new "Dragon Raiders" paintball attraction.
We regularly pass the Glynllifon Estate wall south of Caernarfon with its great lions guarding the grand entrance and the beautiful park, woods and nature trail beyond.
All of these great estates have moved with the times and diversified to replace redundant incomes. Would the old lords of these manors have approved? Probably not, but their current managers are largely doing a good job in making them more accessible to the public.
They don't always get it right. It was a shame about the long traffic delays at the Eisteddfod. Why couldn't the organisers let us in through the main gateway?
It was like a blast from the past as we poor peasants were shunted through the tradesmens' entrance, leaving the rich and famous of the Eisteddfod with their fine robes and badges to enter imperiously through the front door. …