Pembrokeshire 5 - Carew/a closed castle /a missed opportunity for an aire/a most interesting cross

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March 25th 2019
Published: March 25th 2019
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We are reaching the end of our first shake down trip of 2019. It has been a funny old trip as we have come to get to grips with living in Gabby again. No longer does it feel strange and items are now to hand. Unlike a week ago when I struggled to find anything. Could we live in her full time? Debateable. She is smaller than Suzy and we would be likely to fall over each other particularly in inclement weather. In the summer with an awning would be a different kettle of fish altogether. Being abroad would too. We love her seats. The Captains seat swivel. We love the table. Two things we lacked in Suzy. We love the made up beds. Such a luxury. Do I miss the oven or the microwave. Sometimes.

So where is Gabby parked up today. On a wet, miserable and muddy field in the tiny hamlet of Carew. The few houses have missed a trick. If this were France there would be hard standing here. A bourne to fill up with water. Somewhere to drop your waste. Somewhere to sleep . The hamlet or town would benefit as the boulangerie and charcuterie would gain business. The local auberge would gain diners. The plat du jour would be consumed with some eagerness. What a shame we don't do aires.

Gabby picked up more mud driving to this spot . I wonder why we ended up here. It was not planned into the trip. I never studied philosophy in school. My mum would have said I would have made a cats face of it. I never could understand it. But yet today as I sit here I ponder why I am here, in this spot at this very time. Is it my free choice? Or was it destined at the beginning of time? Could I have avoided Carew in the rain or had some higher being made that decision for me? It has been a funny old week too with the atrocities in New Zealand and knife crime peaking in the capital. Again I find that philosophy raises its head .I got up this morning were the words for today on my calendar just a co-oincidence or where they going to be there whatever happened? I wish I knew the answer.

I consider myself to be traveller in this world rather than a tourist and the words made me think deeply about that travelling. "Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them". Rabindranath Tagore . A sobering thought in what feels at times like a mad mad world.

Carew was closed due to the weather. I couldn't blame them. Who would want to sit in a wooden shed on the off chance someone might just pop in. It had been left open for us to wander freely .

When We entered the castle through the gateway it reminded me a little of Hardwick with its windows. It was described as a bit of a jewel of a welsh castle. Little remained of the earlier structure that had been built around 1100 by Norman Gerald of Windsor. around 1100. It is first mentioned in 1212, when for some reason, King John seized it for a short time when passing through Pembroke on his Irish expedition. It came into the hands of the wealthy Carew family who built it bit by bit. It was a relatively quiet place until 1480, when Sir Edmund Carew disposed of it to Rhys ap Thomas who had supported Henry VII after he landed close by. It was he who turned the castle into probably what we were seeing today . There as an old tower from the late 13th century., a hall and a chapel tower, . By this time the rain was putting us off and all we could feel was wet . The Elizabethan wing lay beyond on the north corner but we had had enough. Sometimes you just feel you need to get back in the warm, dry off and have a warming drink.

On our way back we spotted it. The Cross of Carew. Now you are talking. Rain put aside we headed across the muddy field for a closer inspection . The cross was 11th century and commemorated the brother of Hywel ab Edwin - Maredudd ab Edwin of Deheubarth who died in 1035. The cross is said to date from around his death. Now that was a more interesting fact than any I had read about the castle. I was mesmerised by its sense of history and by the intricate patterns worked in the stone. It had an inscription halfway up the shaft which said MARGIT EUT REX ETG . Worn almost away by the weather. The abstract patterns kept catching my eye. The cross towered above me at 13 feet . It was impressive constructed of Sandstone and a volcanic rock from Preseli. I could have stood in front of it for a long time. It was simple but complicated, a Christian symbol in this tiny hamlet miles away from what felt like civilisation. Forget the castle . If you come by this way stop off and stand in front of the cross and just think how old it is.


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