Mid Wales

Witches, whips and burial mounds in Black Mountains

The Witches Pool
Image caption The Witches Pool in the Black Mountains

Burial mounds and a pool where witches were said to have been tried in medieval times are just some of the sights on five new Powys walks.

They feature in a new booklet about Talgarth, near Brecon, which has been a settlement for the last 5,000 years.

The walks aim to help visitors discover some of the history, myths and wildlife of the area.

They range from one to eight miles, and can be found in the Black Mountains.

One of the highlights of the walks is the ancient and secluded woodland of Pwll-y-Wrach (The Witches Pool). It was used in medieval times to judge women who were thought to be witches.

Another highlight is The Whipping Tree, near St Ellyw Church, Llanelieu.

It is an ancient Yew alongside the road leading to Rhôs Fach Common, and is said to have holes where people were restrained before being whipped in times gone by.

One of the trails also takes walkers past an ancient burial mound where, in the early 1970s, archaeologists discovered the remains of at least 15 people dating back to 3500 BC.

The discovery became known as Penyrwrlôdd Long Barrow.

Carol Williams of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: "The booklet is an absolute gem for residents and visitors who are eager to explore some of the mystical and historic hidden jewels that lie in and around Talgarth.

"We hope to attract many visitors to this area to enjoy the walks, stay in local accommodation and eat and drink locally, and with a new beer totally dedicated to Talgarth's infamous whipping tree there's every reason to drop in."

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