The Places visited in the Story
The Irfon Valley is stunningly beautiful. Once upon a time it would have been criss-crossed by ancient drovers' roads used by farmers and general travellers for generations. The coming of railways removed this traffic and today the Irfon Valley is a remote quiet valley of tranquillity.
Research indicates that some of these routes have monastic associations, and that a number of the routes are of considerable antiquity. There is mention of an 'Ancient Road,' known colloquially as the 'Monks' Way' or 'Monks' Trod' possibly linking the Cistercian abbey at Strata Florida with its daughter house at Cwmhir. There are many similar "roads" so named since the Cistercians founded many abbeys in Wales.
Some twelve hundred years after the battle described in the story, another fight took place by the river. In 1282 Llewelyn the Second was killed in a battle on the banks of the Irfon by a Shropshire soldier, dealing a bitter blow against the Welsh struggles against the English King Edward the First.