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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful guided walk in Mid Wales Drover Country, 7 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Drovers' Roads of the Middle Marches: Their History and How to Find Them, Including Sixteen Circular Walks (Paperback)
This is a really well researched an visually attractive book, a walking guide to the area of Mid Wales, especially the Hay on Wye Kington areas, areas that we have documentary evidence of Drover activity in the early part of the 19C and before.

The first two chapters give us a very informative and detailed account of what life was like for the Drovers,with the establishment of The first Welsh Banks, firstly with the Bank Yr Edion Ddu, The Bank of the Black Ox, set up by Drover David Jones in Llandovery in 1799, and eventually taken over by Lloyd's Bank in the early 1920.

Likewise the famous Aberystwyth Tregaron Bank, first set up in Aberystwyth in the late 1760s as Bank Yr Llong, the Ship Bank in Bridge St and eventually opening a branch in Tregaron itself in late 1809 but by the start of 1815 the bank had gone into liquidation.

Principally a Drovers bank, set up for Sheep dealers, it became known as Bank Yr Daffad Ddu,because of its use of Sheep to indicate the value of the note, one sheep for £1, Two sheep for £2 , and a Lamb for 10-.

David Williams of Llandudno, was inspired to produce his own Welsh Banknotes in 1969-1971, as a protest about Wales as the only Gold producing nation not to have its own currency.

His Cheif Treasury of Wales Ltd notes used both Sheep and a Black Ox as well as The Menai Bridge as used by the North & South Wales Bank ltd to decorate his famous notes, and many of them successfully received the Governments 1d revenue stamp indicating their mistaken acceptance by the Treasury.

If one uses the famous Rhydspence Inn outside Hay on Wye, as your focal point for your travels,you can then traverse gorgeous walking country,such as the stunning Hergest Ridge above Clyro,made famous by Mike Oldfields retreat there, after his escape from the limelight and pressure of Tubular Bells global success.

There is also a lovely walk over The Long Mynd as well as the best preserved sections of the Offas Dyke Long Distance Footpath near Llanfair Hill above Clun.

Several beautifully produced sketch maps and mostly easy to navigate walks are described, all being ancient packhorse ways, and ancient before the Drovers saw their attractiveness as direct routes to the English borders, avoiding the then costly Toll Gates on the English border.

A miniature,coffee table styled book, pick it up, and you will be enthralled by the photography and beauty of this area of Mid Wales, just North of the Brecon Beacons.

This is now the only publication currently in print on the Welsh Drovers,with much of the text inspired by KJ Bonsers and Richard Moore Colyers famous publications, both long since out of print.

A really nice book, and if you are interested in the life of the 19C Drovers, this is an interesting and lovely read.
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Location: Llandudno N Wales

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,740