Saturday, 19 March 2016
A mini-walk near the Usk
A short stroll
A few minutes' walk from the bus station down the Abergavenny Road in Usk is a turn-off to the left through an iron swing gate. This is Conigar Walk whose history is told here and it leads to the river Usk. It is unusual for a town to have the same name as its river: more common would be Talybont-on-Usk for example.
A living larder
Rabbits (or coneys) were kept in enclosures to provide some of the food for the garrison and owners of Usk Castle. They would also eat salmon and lampreys from the river as well as eggs and pigeon squabs from the loft in the castle (columbarium). The couple whose marriage was commemorated by the building of this walk in 1858 by J. H. Clark and friends later became the parents of 'Kaiser Bill' of the First World War.
A linguistic tip
Although this is not a particularly Welsh-speaking area, signs are bilingual and here you can see a feature of the Welsh language which is worth noting. The initial "P" of "Prussia" becomes "B" in "Brwsia", a process known as mutation which makes use of a dictionary tough for learner. It follows strict grammatical rules governing the change of one initial letter to another but helps the sound and makes for fluent speech - in time!