Monochrome photo of some dried-out thistles on a hilltop, with a blurred radio transmitter tower in the background.

Along the eastern side of the Taff valley north of Quaker’s Yard and Treharris is a ridge, part of which is known as Mynydd-y-Capel (‘Chapel Mountain’). On this hilltop, Ordnance Survey maps indicate the presence of “Forest Chapel (Remains Of)”. Intrigued by this point on the map, and living nearby at the time, I decided to walk up there and take a look, ascending the hill through Treharris on a road that became a track that became a path that then petered out to nothing as I continued north.

It proved more of a real hike than the leisurely walk I’d anticipated. Atop Mynydd-y-Capel there were wonderful views, but the remains of the chapel – if indeed I was even looking in the right place – were desultory: some scattered bits of grey stone. There was one spot, a natural hollow near what seemed to be the summit, which afforded a surprising degree of shelter from the buffetting breeze, and where there was an eerie silence. I could imagine that being an appropriate locale for spritual reflection.

I stopped to take a few photos along the way. While there was still a track to follow, my eye was caught by some skeletal thistles which foregrounded a radio or TV transmission tower. I used a Mamiya C330 loaded with Adox CHS 25 film to take the picture, and developed the film at home using Tanol, with very pleasing results. I slightly cropped the square frame for the image above. My over-ambitious walk left me dehydrated, footsore, and with the beginnings of a migraine, but at least I had something to show for it.