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Devil's Punch Bowl

Natural Rock Feature


Last May I came down this way to have a look at Buwch a'r Lloe standing stones, but I also, if we'd had enough time, wanted to go and have another walk around the waterfalls at Devil's Bridge. Three months later and yet another plan goes to pot, this time I wanted to go to Dolgamfa kerb circle, via Ysbyty Cynfyn church circle. But the rain was unabating, we'd got wet enough for one day, so I decided Devils bridge alone would suffice, for now.
I am fairly certain I've said "This is the most beautiful place in Wales" before, but that's because I'd forgotten about Devil's bridge, I have kicked myself hard, repeatedly, because this time I really mean it. This is the most beautiful place in Wales.

There are no ancient remains here, no cairns or stones, no fort, no huts. But, we are left with the option of natural rock feature, and this is certainly one of those. The Afon Mynach is a short lived river it's entire length is no more than four kilometers, for most of it's stretch the water hurries along at an untroubled pace, but soon enough it all kicks off.
The river narrows, squeezing itself through an ever tighter gorge, fallen logs try to bar the rivers progress, the river cares not, it just keeps on going.
Then it does something funny, as the chilled water pours through one particularly narrow crevice, it starts to swirl, the current grinding round and round, forming circular holes in the bedrock for the river to negotiate through, three in all (maybe).
Then it's through the narrowest river gorge I've ever seen, A slim serpentine, a water worn fissure, bridged by one of the most should be famous bridges in the world.
The Mynach, having endured the chasm, now falls 90m, over five falls, creating one of the most sit and watchable sites in Wales. Old trees, copious fernage, with unstoppable moss, all bathed in late summer rain, sweet sweet rain that falls from the heavens and makes everything shiny and exquisitely bewitching.
Then the Mynach disappears through another tight ravine and is gone, in a few hundred yards it'll join the Afon Rheidol. A nice river to be sure, but the best bit is now behind it. It is off to the sea now passing below half a dozen hill forts til it finally empties into the Irish sea at Aberystwyth.

Though there are no ancient remains here, I'm sure the place would have been know to the Iron age people who lived nearby, and maybe to the Bronze age folk too, kerb circles close by to the north are close to water worn gorges. But devils bridge is the water and rock site par excellence, they were here alright, as mesmerised by the otherworldly beauty found here as I am.

In the beginning though it was the bridges above the Mynach that brought me here, and are I believe worthy of mention.

The present road bridge is a late twentieth century reconstruction of an iron or steel lattice girder bridge of 1901. Immediately below is the bridge built in 1753.
The 1753 bridge frames the comparatively diminutive lower bridge which, perched on the living rock above the river chasm, has a single arch perhaps 6.0m wide that crosses some 30m above the gushing torrent. This stone rubble bridge is thought to be a medieval structure, perhaps sixteenth century, although it appears to have been much restored when the 1753 bridge was built over it.
postman Posted by postman
9th September 2018ce
Edited 9th September 2018ce

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