CC40 Cefn Rhyswg Dew Pond
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This is the fortieth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. Two virtual caches lead to the final regular cache (in a medium sized plastic lunch box), while taking you over Mynydd Maen Common and providing a wealth of views, particularly into the spectacular Cwm Gwyddon. The overall walking distance is about 7½ miles, generally on good tracks, but which may be muddy in parts in wet weather. Expect some 600’ of ascent with gentle gradients.
The Caerphilly Collection is distinguished with a unique CC number and is made up of 50 caches. The caches vary in difficulty and type and usually have other “C” word connections – castle, cheese, coal, canal, etc. There may even be Cryptic Clues for Clever Clogs! The current Caerphilly unitary authority grew out of the former Rhymney Valley and Islwyn Councils and stretches from the outskirts of Cardiff and Newport in the south to the Brecon Beacons, north of Rhymney. Despite a past dominated by coal and heavy industry, it has a diverse history and varied and dramatic scenery. We hope you will enjoy exploring it with us.
Towards the end of the Collection is CC48 The Accumulator, the location of which is given in coded form. The translation details of the code are distributed around the whole Collection, but only about a third of the caches will contain a piece of the code, which is on the back of the Log Book. To do the Accumulator, you will need to keep a note of each piece of code that you find. Unless you are very lucky, you will need to find the majority of the Collection in order to do the Accumulator. The Accumulator cache is hidden in an area of difficult terrain and demanding navigation, with a 5,4½ rating.
Cefn Rhyswg is a long spur running west from Mynydd Maen, which gives its name to the Common on which all parts of this cache are found. Although there are views in all directions, the route followed through the three stages shows off Cwm Gwyddon most dramatically.
The suggested parking spot is at N 51 40.347 W 003 06.365. If you have the luxury of two cars, it would be possible to make the overall walk a mile shorter, by finishing in Abercarn or Cwmcarn. An alternative start would be Upper Cwmbran, but this would increase the amount of ascent. If you want a more strenuous exploration of Mynydd Maen Common, this cache could be combined with CC39 in a walk of some 8½ miles, including some rough, trackless moorland, and about 700’ of ascent. Or, if this isn’t enough for you, why not take in Twmbarlwm and CC21 as well.
In the following, VC stands for Virtual Cache and RC for Regular Cache.
VC1 is at the coordinates given for the cache listing. It would appear that there is an attitude to developments on moorland that assumes that anything will do. While these installations might be necessary, it is hard to believe that they can’t be undertaken more sensitively, although it has to be admitted that those steel giants striding across the landscape can be a navigational aid. But the notice you find here relates to the cathodic protection for the transmission system for a different form of power. The “T/R” takes the name of a nearby hamlet. Convert its name into a set of numbers using the keypad of your mobile phone.
VC2 is at N51 4a.bc4 W003 0d.ef4, where:
a = the fourth number minus the ninth number of the set derived at VC1
b = the eighth number divided by the tenth number
c = the second number
d = the first number
e = the fifth number
f = the sum of the second and fourth numbers
At VC2, there is a stone (with a dramatic lean) marking the boundary of the mineral rights of CHL and BH. The former initials are those of Capel Hanbury-Leigh of the Pontypool ironmasters family. The BH is thought to stand for Benjamin Hall, who owned the Llanover Estate and reputedly gave his name to Big Ben. The Act of Parliament that established these rights was passed in the year ghjk.
RC3 is at N51 3k.ak4 W003 0m.np6, where:
m = h minus j
n = k minus j
p = g plus k minus h
Just before you reach the cache, look out for the dew pond at N51 3k.gm8 W003 0m.np8. There are a number of these ponds on the Common and Cefn Rhyswg and they would have been essential for the welfare of stock that would have grazed this high ground in larger numbers in the past. With no streams, springs or significant area of higher ground feeding them, it seems improbable that they would work. But they appear to be effective, albeit that rain is probably more important than dew in achieving this. The map shows three farms on this ridge: Rhyswg Fawr,Rhyswg-ganol and Rhyswg-fach. This is usually the result of the splitting of one holding when there was more than one son inheriting. In this case, it may have happened in one go or in two stages. While it might have seemed fair, it would invariably lead to farms that were too small to be financially viable, to increasing hardship and, ultimately, to failure.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum