It is strange that old residents telling us of the paths they used to walk – to get milk (or even water), to visit friends, to go to the church, school or Monmouth – now find that those remaining are walked (or dog-walked) by parishioners and non-parishioners purely for recreation and exercise. It is a feature of paths all over the world that they are never straight, but follow imperceptible curves, perhaps with the twists and turns first walked by iron-age man on these hills. The distinctive stone stiles still mark many of them and some well-remembered ones are:
A] Whitehouse Farm across Duke’s Barn field to meet the path from Noddfa and Lower Meend to the Bowles (ex Frostlands)
B] From the Grove to Lone Lane, one branch coming out at Lone Farm and the other below Cherry Orchard
C] Up by Cae Pen to Barn (or Lover’s) Lane …. Where Penallt’s one bomb of the 1939-1945 war was dropped
D] Opposite the Sycamores, Glyn Road, through the wood to the Brook and across to Sunnybank (Cross Dermond), thence to the church and churchyard, through Livox Wood down to Troy and Monmouth
Church Farm, Hillside and the Birches had their own routes down to the river as had The Generals – this started at the Bowery – and, on the fringe of the parish, Robin’s Nest had a path through woods to Whitebrook, turning left and first right at the forest track. Villagers used to cut through the Argoed grounds from Lone Lane to Penargelli (bungalow), the supposed site of the ancient ‘lost village’. This path, from the kissing gate used to be railed with iron railings, and older residents remember on Flower Show evenings ‘fairy lamps’ – red and blue glass shaded candles – being hung in the railings. From New Mills via Pine Tops to the top road at Penallt Common is an old path and, again, on the fringe of the parish, is another old one made new, going along the route of the railway line from Tump Farm to the Boat.
You will find others on the Ordnance Survey maps – but keep to the Country Code!
[from: Penallt – A Village Miscellany]