The Stepping Stones at Ogmore Castle

Before the little Merthyr Mawr suspension bridge for pedestrian use built there was, at that spot, a series of stepping stones called Teilo. When the bridge came into use these stones were taken placed near Ogmore Castle, where they remain today. Along with their original name: Stepsau Teilo.

These stones, a boon to the walker and a delight to child:, most convenient crossing point of the Ewenny river. They are also on the direct route from Merthyr Mawr church to the public house "The Pelican in her Piety" on the othert side of the river; and the speed with which the more thirsty of the congragation crossed the stones after Sunday services was something that became legendary in the village. Lloyd George's Sunday Opening Act did something to dispel that state of affairs, an event that affected Merthyr Mawr considerably, for no inn is permitted in or anywhere near the place. If anything, however, the act increased the speed with which local farm workers managed to cross the stones.

At one period towards the end of the last century a competition developed among the braver souls to see how quickly the crossing could be made without falling into the river. Many tried to take the stones at full speed and, cheered on by hilarious friends, there were several slips duckings. Fortified by good ale at the inn (The Pelican in her Piety, now known locally as The Peli) they would try again and it is said that, if they could cross without mishap whilst drunk, they had the it to demand more sustenance from the landlord.

This, of course, was a custom rather than a legend, but it seems a pity not to include it here for it has died out; and we are short of colourful iitions. Perhaps it could be revived. A competition among the local d from both sides of the river would be an attraction especially if, say, the race could be held on New Year's Day when the water is at its coldest. The surrounding hills and the ruins of Ogmore Castle would make an active background for such an event; and perhaps the landlord of the 'Pelican Inn' could dispense libation as of yore.

Rob Williams, current owner of Ogmore Farm www.rideonthebeach.co.uk gives the following advice: If you fall in when crossing the Stepping Stones; stay in the water and walk to the other side, of course when drunk this logic doesn't kick in as many of us, including Rob have found out.