Ghosts on the Denbigh Moors

Are these sheep seeing something we can’t? After all, spectral residents are said to wander the Denbigh Moors in North Wales. Perfect, because we ventured high into the Denbigh Moors for a chance to visit its haunted house, a hunting lodge now in ruins, known locally as Gwylfa Hiraethog. Gwylfa Hiraethog, or the Watch Tower of Hiraethog gets its name from the Denbigh Moors (Mynydd Hiraethog in Welsh). I looked for a definition of “Hiraethog” and found that it could be translated as “yearning” or “great longing.” What I don’t know is what came first, the great longing or the ghosts. Either way, the name seems apt.

As beautiful and varied as Mynydd Hiraethog’s landscape is, the rolling moorland felt isolated and lonely. I think this panorama conveys some sense of the area. Click the image for a larger view.

I don’t know if this is the setting of one Denbigh Moors ghost story, but on at least two reported occasions, a Roman Centurion in full dress was seen walking the Moors. It is believed that he may have died in battle on the Moors when the Romans were settling in nearby Chester (or Deva as the Romans knew it). The unfortunate twist is that seeing the long-dead soldier was known to be an omen of death. And, indeed, after two groups of men saw the apparition, one man from each party met an untimely death. I get chills just thinking about it.

This, I think, is Llyn Aled. This body of water situated high on the Denbigh Moors was one of the few identifiable features we passed as we followed the A543 between Pentrefoelas and the town of Denbigh.

As was this lone barn.

Our trip to the Denbigh Moors and Gwylfa Hiraethog had been planned for some time, but what was unexpected was the snow. A snow storm passed through the night before, frosting the landscape while still allowing the rich, moorish colors to show through.

At this point we realized that we had missed the haunted house. We’d gotten a peek at it atop a roadside hill, but didn’t see a turnoff. At the next opportunity, we left the A543 to find a turnaround and, instead, saw this hidden valley. We couldn’t find a logical place to turn around on the one-lane road, so we went off-road, risking getting stuck in the damp soil in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, after a tense few moments of wheel-spinning, we turned around and made it to Gwylfa Hiraethog.

Let me relay one last Denbigh Moors ghost story involving the Haunted House of the Moors. Locals tell of a couple who saw a ‘tall luminous skeleton that glowed in the dark’, and as it approached them, the couple, who were scared witless, ran away and never returned.

Did we see any ghosts? Do you see the shadow of someone in the window, but no one’s standing there? What? You think it’s me? Absolutely not. I’m telling you we got out of there just in time and high-tailed it all the way to Denbigh.

We arrived in Denbigh just in time to see the Denbigh Castle tinted rose.

This is as close to the Denbigh Castle as we got. We hadn’t originally planned to stop in Denbigh, but I had to stop to at least take a few pictures.

One last shot in Denbigh before heading onward…

…into the fast-approaching night and far away from Roman Centurions, skeletons, and mysterious shadowy figures.


About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Animals, Buildings, Landscape, Nature, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Ghosts on the Denbigh Moors

  1. Monique says:

    I LOVE the ghost stories and the spooky photos … and what a gorgeous moon.

  2. Gunta says:

    The word that comes to mind for the first couple of shots is “desolate”. I totally love the next to last shot of the moon and the tree!

    • Desolate is an excellent word to describe the Moors. Given our previous discussion about lone trees, I thought you might enjoy the moon/tree shot. It’s one of my favorites.

  3. Your pictures never fail to amaze me! Yet another beautiful place- looks chilly though. I’m glad I’m visiting via camera. 🙂

  4. leah says:

    I LOVE that photo of the window with bricks…adds some nice color and is a different view of the view out the window.

  5. drawandshoot says:

    Love your landscapes!

  6. Pingback: Gwylfa Hiraethog Shooting Lodge: the Haunted House of Denbigh Moors | Sat Nav and Cider

  7. wayne simcock says:

    lovely photos of the moors. I would love to spend the night at the castle and the house.

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