thirteenfridays: Pembrey

 

 

 

 

 

Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.

This week was our 13th picnic out and about and we headed to Pembrey where there are reports of a number of different ghostly phenomena including ghost ships seen off the coast and ghosts of the “hatchet men” seen in the nearby woods .  These were the wreckers who enticed ships onto the rocks, murdered the crews and robbed their cargoes.  There are more stories of WWII soldiers, cursed airmen, cavaliers and even a poltergeist who grabs your ankles and piles up your camping equipment!

The popular TV show “Most Haunted” visited the area some years ago, highlighting these and many other stories spending the night investigating the beach, the woods and the disused military bunkers.

We took this photograph of the woods which shows a luminous green flare!

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Finding shade in the picnic area near Cefn Sidan beach our picnic fest this week included special birthday treats for Kathryn, a bottle of champagne with strawberry liqueur and extra strawberry cakes!
We had a 13 ingredient salmon and asparagus pie (Egg, Flour, Butter, Cream Cheese, Chives, Parsley, Lemon Zest, Capers, Salmon, Asparagus, Spinach, Salt, Black Pepper); 13 ingredient tabouleh (Bulgar wheat, Vegetable Stock, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Flat Leaf Parsley, Mint, Red wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Soy Sauce,Salt, Pepper); 13 ingredient fennel and courgette salad (Bulb Fennel, Courgette, Red onion, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Za’atar – Sumac, Thyme, Oregano, Nutmeg, Cumin, Black Pepper, Sesame seeds, Salt)  02
Our desserts were a four tiered 13 ingredient birthday cake from Kirsten (Butter, sugar, Flour, Baking powder, Margarine, Eggs, Milk, Cream, Vanilla, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Chocolate buttons) and 13 Strawberry and thyme mini cupcakes with Fragoli wild strawberry icing.

 

 

 

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thirteenfridays: St Dogmael’s

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.  This week we headed off in search on the trail of a historic haunting at St Dogmael’s Abbey in Pembrokeshire.

According to author Brian John in his ‘Pembrokeshire Ghost Stories‘ book after the Abbey fell, an inscribed stone was used as a bridge over a small brook in the abbey grounds.  ‘While it was very handy during the day, it had a fearsome reputation at night.  Many people saw a mysterious ghostly figure (referred to simply as “the white lady”) gliding over it at the witching hour of midnight.’.It was this reputation, it is suggested, that prevented the stone being lifted and broken up to be used as building material in the following years when the abbey ruins became a convenient source of stone for local buildings.  Laid facing down the inscriptions on the ‘Sagranus Stone’, as it is called, are very well preserved and the stone can be seen in the nearby parish church of St Thomas.  Read more about the stone here.

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Photo By Llywelyn2000 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

After wandering the abbey ruins (and not seeing any white ladies) and being unable to identify the brook’s location, we decided the most appropriate picnic site was in the old abbey church crypt.  The now exposed crypt was once underneath the floor of the presbytery, with a small stairway leading down into the space; the remains of the arches and columns are still visible around the edges. Somebody had been there before us and made symbolic markings on the floor…it reflected the original layout illustrated on the information board in the abbey…a midsummer ritual perhaps; all a bit Dennis Wheatley…

0100As we laid out our picnic feast in the late evening, the sky above us filled with swirling mass of corvids, we held our breath momentarily as they whirled around worried that they might take a fancy to the feast below.

Thankfully they settled in the trees beyond the abbey and we went on to enjoy our picnic of – 13 ingredient four cheese quiche (Flour, Butter, Eggs, Cheddar, Feta, Parmesan, Mozzarella Cheese, Salt, Pepper, Black Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Red Pepper); 13 Ingredient broccoli salad (Broccoli, Halloumi, Garlic, Spring Onions, Lentils, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Olive Oil, Black Pepper, Lettuce, Rocket); 0213 Ingredient grilled pineapple with marscapone (Pineapple, Butter, Soft Brown Sugar, Muscovado Sugar, Lemon Juice, Piri Piri Sauce, Black Pepper, Marscapone, Creme Fraiche, Vanilla Essence, Icing Sugar, Raspberries, Mint Leaves);  13 Pecan Nut Cookies.03

 

thirteenfridays: Kenfig

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.

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This week we visited Kenfig in the borough of Bridgend.  Our decision to visit was guided by finding this article by artist Kristian Evans and reading about other hauntings and spooky goings on in  the area.  According to local folklore there are many phenomena to encounter in the area – ghostly music at the Prince of Wales inn; phantom funerals at nearby Porthcawl and Maudlam;  phantom lights and the unearthly sounds of cyhyrraeth at Sker and Tusker – as Kritian suggests “Kenfig is plagued by ghosts. Things have reached epidemic proportions.”. 

The dunes at Kenfig cover a wide area and an ancient village, the top of the castle keep can be seen poking out of the sand, perhaps the evocative idea of a lost village accounts for some of the stories in the area.  Read more about the history of Kenfig and the abandoned village here.

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Now a national nature reserve, we picnicked near the visitor centre with fewer dishes this week as it was just two of us.  We enjoyed a 13 ingredient potato and fennel salad (Potatoes, Fennel, Onion, Garlic, Hard Boiled Eggs, Parsley, Dijon Mustard, Chive Flowers, White Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, Sugar, Black Pepper); 13 stuffed baby peppers with 13 ingredients (Peppers, Rice, Cheddar Cheese, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Capers, Onions, Black Pepper, Oregano, Thyme); A 13 ingredient courgette caponata (Celery, Red Onion, Courgette, Garlic, Baby Plum Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Capers, Black Olives, Oregano, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Black Pepper) all served with slices of Bara Menyn bread and a green salad with nasturtium flowers.02

For our dessert this week we had 13 mini lemon meringue pies, so lemony, so good…03

 

thirteenfridays: Carmarthen

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.
IMG_7940This week, to find out more about the ghostly sightings and stories of Carmarthen, we preceded our picnic with a Wednesday evening “Creepy Carmarthen” tour courtesy of Nick Brunger.  Starting outside the guildhall, the towns court, we heard about the history of Carmarthen as a near lawless place akin to the ‘Wild West’, with many a highwayman and vagabond facing justice in the court before their final destination at the gallows in the castle.Walking from Guildhall sq up st Mary’s st we stopped outside the Andrew Price hair salon where Nick regaled us with the story of a contemporary haunting and an experiment in psychic communication. Using cards showing letters of the alphabet the spooky experiment revealed the name of the little girl who haunts the premises as Alice.The tour’s final destination is also the castle, which became the town police station and gaol. Over the years it has been the site of many spooky encounters, even as we gathered in the entrance room and listened to Nick telling the grisly history of the building a door to the upper floor’s old police barracks opened inexplicably.

The most frequent encounters, however, take place in the old gaol cells, where people have reported hearing sobbing, felt a hand on their shoulder and a presence in the room…our group crowded into the small, unlit, dank room to hear of these encounters but nothing was stirring in there that evening…

Having thoroughly enjoyed the tour we struggled to find a suitable location for a picnic in the castle grounds, the opening hours being affected by maintenance work.  So instead our picnic destination was decided by unrelated stories of strange movements and encounters with an apparition of a soldier in the chapel of the former Bishop’s palace, now Carmarthenshire county museum in Abergwili.


01For our picnic we had a 13 ingredient Pesto Pasta salad (Pine nuts, Pasta, Water, Pesto, Basil, Spinach, Tomatoes, Salt, pepper, Feta, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Olive oil ); A 13 ingredient Beetroot & Lentil salad (Puy lentils, Beetroot, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Fennel, Garlic, Flat Leaf Parsley, Kalamon Olives, Red Wine Vinegar; Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt, Pepper); A 13 ingredient Cheese and Potato pie (Flour, Butter, Salt, Pepper, Water, Potatoes, Cheddar, Milk, Mozzarella, Mustard, Nutmeg, Oregano, Thyme); 13 mini Sosmix Sausages; A green salad with 13 baby plum tomatoes.02

Following the savouries we enjoyed a 13 ingredient Rhubarb and Almond tart (Plain flour, Salt, water, Rhubarb, Butter, Caster sugar, Ground almonds, Egg, Brown sugar, Cocoa, Baking powder, Flaked almonds, Icing sugar) and 13 Strawberry and Cream sponges..03

thirteenfridays: Craig-y-nos

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.

This week we went to visit the notoriously haunted Craig-y-nos Castle, a Victorian Gothic country house on the south-east edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in the Upper Swansea Valleys. The house is surrounded by 40 acres of parkland, Craig-y-nos Country Park, which gives onto common land on the Brecon Beacons.

Craig-y-nos was once home to the internationally famous opera singer Adelina Patti who lived there from 1878 until her death in 1919.
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We ate our picnic in the country park; 13 ingredient feta and spinach filo pastry pie (Filo Pastry, Feta Cheese, Spinach, Sorrel, Spring Onions, Pepper, Parsley, Pine Nuts, Walnuts,  Nutmeg, Eggs, Olive Oil, Sesame Seeds); 13 ingredient salad (Spinach, Rocket, Red Gem Lettuce, Cress, Fennel, Radish, Tomatoes, Coriander, Sorrel, Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Linseeds); 13 ingredient potato salad (Potatoes, Green Beans, Black Olives, Gherkins, Capers, Caremelised garlic, Olive Oil, Coriander, White Wine Vinegar, Salt Pepper, Chives, Sesame seeds);

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13 ingredient pistachio cake (Pistachio Nuts, Almonds, Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Black Pepper, Butter, Caster Sugar, Vanilla essence, Eggs, Lemon Juice, Cream Cheese, Icing Sugar, Honey); 13 ingredient nut brittle (White Sugar, Cashew Nuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Linseeds, Salt, Black Pepper, Cardamom).

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We followed our picnic with a walk around the country park, once the estate of Craig-Y-Nos Castle, where we discovered an Oak tree planted by Adelina in 1914 and a games pavilion where Adelina would sometimes sing to entertain guests after a game of croquet.  The ghost of Adelina apparently responds to the sound of her favourite song ‘Home sweet home’ which she recorded in the house in 1905.  We played the song as we wandered the grounds but presumably Adelina was otherwise engaged…

thirteenfridays: Llandysul

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.

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This week we visited Llandysul on the borders of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion and took a stroll along the side of Afon Teifi.

There are a number of paranormal encounters reported along the banks of the river Teifi.  We had heard the story of a harpist who had drowned in one of the many pools along the river near Llandysul, it is said that harp music can still be heard emanating from beneath the water. That part of the river is called ‘The Pool of the Harper’ but we’ve never been able to discover exactly which part of the river this refers to, so we decided to take a wander along the banks, listening…

We tried a little underwater sound recording hoping to hear strains of harp music in the depths of the river.

We have also read about two female spirits who haunt the banks of the Teifi. One woman, who wears green emeralds, is said to protect hidden treasure. The other is a woman dressed in black who drifts along the river bank in search of something.

We unpacked our 13 picnic on the site of an old cottage, Plas y Dderwen, now just a ruin which has been turned into a picnic and barbecue area next to the river.

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02.jpgA special 13 ingredient sour dough loaf from Bara Menyn bakery, 13 Devilled eggs with 13 ingredients courtesy of Kirsty…she was particularly chuffed about the ‘devilled’ bit…(Eggs, Mayonnaise, Butter, Vinegar, Mustard, Chilli flakes, fresh Chilli, Salt, Pepper, Chives, Paprika, Sesame seeds, Ras el Hannout); 13 ingredient Asparagus tart (Flour, Butter, Egg, 13 Asparagus spears, Marscapone, Parmesan, Fresh Basil, Lemon Zest, Salt, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Wild Rocket); 13 ingredient slaw with ginger (Beetroot, Red Cabbage, White Cabbage, Carrot, Apple, Celery, Red Onion, Sushi Ginger, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Parsley, Salt, Pepper ); organic salad leaves from Glebelands Market Garden garnished with 13 olives.
04.jpgWe went a bit overboard with the sweet things this week…13 Black pepper, cardamom and chocolate cookies/cakes (Butter, Sugar, SR Wheat flour, SR Gluten free flour, Cocoa Powder, Egg, Cloves, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Salt, Vanilla Essence, Almond Essence); 13 chocolate dipped strawberries; 13 ingredient malty cheeescake…another wonderous contribution from Kirsty…(malted milk biscuits, butter, caster sugar, full fat soft cheese, double cream, white chocolate, milk chocolate, Horlicks powder, Salt, Maize starch, Yellow colouring, Egg, finished with 13 Maltesers).03.jpg

thirteenfridays: Nevern

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Our 13 week picnic marathon started on Friday 13 April, we’ll be visiting a haunted location every Friday until Friday 13 July 2018.  Each week we set off armed with sound recording equipment, digital cameras and an original Polaroid camera – to take an unfakeable and unique Polaroid image at each location.

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This week, we were intrigued by the mention of a paranormal experience at Nevern Castle in Pembrokeshire during a picnic (read article here). The article describes how picnickers at the site were disturbed to hear distressing screaming sounds from deep in the earth under their feet. There has also been ghostly sightings of a man in medieval dress.

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For our picnic feast of 13 this week we enjoyed a 13 ingredient Potato Salad (13 Salad Potatoes, 13 Baby Plum Tomatoes, 13 Asparagus spears, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Toasted Walnuts with a dressing of Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Brown Sugar, Black Pepper, Salt, served on a bed of Rocket and Spinach and garnished with Wild Garlic Flowers);  A 13 ingredient Beetroot slaw (Beetroot, Red cabbage, White cabbage, Fennel, Celery, Apple, Carrot, Tomato puree, Olive Oil, Black Olives, Lemon Juice, Mint, Black Pepper);  13 hummus & roast veg sandwiches with 13 ingredients (hummus made from Chickpeas, Tahini, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Salt and Smoked paprika served on Brown Sourdough Bread with Wild Rocket, Roasted Red, Green and Yellow Peppers and Roasted Courgette); 13 summer fruit topped mini Victoria sponges with 13 ingredients (Flour, Baking Powder, Butter, Eggs, Caster Sugar, Vanilla Essence frosted with Soft cheese, Icing Sugar, Vanilla, Fresh Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries and garnished with Mint Leaves).

It was a beautifully warm sunny day and we spent the afternoon exploring and taking a field recording on the site of the old watchtower using a mic inserted just below the surface of the ground. We’ll process this to look for any unusual sounds or spectral screaming!

Despite the bright sunshine, there was quite an atmospheric feeling at the site and a couple of times we felt a little unnerved by odd movement in our peripheral vision…

On our way home we visited St Bryach’s, the beautiful old church in Nevern village. One of the ancient (700 year old) Yew trees in the graveyard is called the ‘Bleeding Yew’. It continuously secretes an unusual red sap, an unexplained phenomena which has attracted a number of miraculous legends – the church website wryly favours the idea that it bleeds in sympathy with Jesus on the cross. There is also said to be a white-robed man who wanders in the churchyard as well as the sound of children playing at night.

The Bleeding Yew in St Bryach’s Churchyard