4. Soar Y Mynydd (Chapel)
Wales’ most remote chapel, Soar-y-Mynydd, stands amidst the hills to the south west of Tregaron, on the road to Llyn Brianne. Although actually near to the headwaters of the River Towy (standing on the banks of the Camddwr) it is worth making the trip out of the Teifi Valley to see this Calvinistic Methodist chapel in its wonderful isolation. It is difficult to get a sense of this isolation from a map, but this is certainly evoked by the trip along the single track road passing several ruined stone buildings (and a strikingly lonely red telephone box and post box), past waterfalls and acres and acres of open land on the way to this simple place of worship. It is worth stopping on the way at the Cwm Berwyn lookout point, which looks down the ice-sculpted U-shaped valley.
The chapel was built in 1822 by request of Rev. Ebenezer Richard of Tregaron, in order to provide for the farmers, who lived in the surrounding area, and for the drovers, who would pass this way on their journey to or from the village. A memorial to Rev. Richard can be found in the churchyard in Tregaron, while a more substantial monument to his son Henry Richard (see Tregaron section), stands a few hundred metres away in the village.
Soar y Mynydd is usually open and it is possible to go inside and sit amongst the tightly packed rows of pews.
There is a circular walk (8 ½ km, 5 ½ miles) leaving from the chapel and heading South West to the foot of Pen y Gurnos. A climb to the summit of Pen y Gurnos (456m) is an option from this point adding a mile to the route. The path then continues up the stark and beautiful Doethie Valley, following the river, before returning East along a track to Soar Mynydd. Use of a map is recommended.
See: Pathfinder Guide: Ceredigion Walks (Jarrold Publishing, 2003)
OS Map: Landranger 146 (Lampeter and Llandovery)
Getting there: by car or a serious cycle ride. Take the road from
Tregaron sign-posted to Soar y Mynydd (next to the Talbot Hotel). The chapel is sign-posted once more along this road. (approx. 15km, 9 miles)
Soar y Mynydd grid ref.: SN 785533
Parking: gravel car park