Beyond the Pyramid of Privilege

Three Hill-top Scenes in Memory of Raymond Williams

From Planet 244

by Euros Lewis

Euros Lewis shows us three little-known historical sites of cultural resistance across Wales. What can these stories from chapels, collieries and natural amphitheatres tell us about flows of wealth and exploitation today? Can we find ways to overcome them collaboratively, and is protest really futile?

From the table-flat top of Pen Pŷch, at the gently rounded head of the Rhondda Fawr, you can see far – as far as Weston and a hint of its Somerset hinterland. But don’t see far now. See near. See beneath. Follow river or road as they take the same straight line from Tŷ Newydd to Treherbert to Treorci and downwards. Come closer now, and sixth-sense the ghosts of the dead-and-buried farms: Cwm Sa’r-bren, Penrenglyn, Ynysyfeuo. And there, a few hundred yards up from the Baglan pub stands Carmel – one of the myriad big chapels that punctuate the straight line streets from here all the way down to Pontypridd.

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