The ruined chapel in Cwmorthin - a distinctive landmark often photographed by passing walkers - is a place I've known all my life. I spent many of the holidays of my childhood in Dolrhedyn, a small hamlet a little further down the mountain. Most of our visits involved at least one walk up the steep track past the slate tips to Cwmorthin and I have many happy memories of exploring the abandoned buildings there. It is a beautiful valley but the last time I visited it was a wet and windy day and seemed very bleak and isolated. I had recently been reading a little of the history of slate mining and I started thinking about what the chapel must have been like when the valley was still inhabited and how much the area has changed.
Ruth Bradshaw writes short stories and creative non-fiction and recently completed an MA in Wild Writing at the University of Essex.
This story is read by Mariah Gale and is one of nine selected from entries to a competition run by the Museum of Walking and included in an anthology called Flash #MyLandmarks published in November 2019 by Sampson Low Publishers and available from them or from the Museum of Walking.