Whimble Gardens & Nursery are situated on the south facing slopes of the Radnor Valley amongst soft rolling farmland and surrounded by hump-backed hills and vestigial heather moors. The area is rich in wildlife and wildflowers and has an exceptional wealth of historical and prehistoric features, dating back to the earliest times. This is the heartland of the book
The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins. It was he who first proposed the theories of Ley-lines from observations garnered whilst delivering beer in Radnor and Herefordshire. The most important ley-lines appear to emanate from Old Radnor church and run across the landscape, as if linking ancient sites and landscape features, one of which is the site of the standing stones in the valley bottom known as ‘Fourstones’.

Four Stones1

Situated in a region referred to as the Walton Basin, the Four Stones are the only confirmed Welsh example of a four-poster stone circle. The circle is about 16˝ ft (5 m) across and the stone heights range from 3 ft (1 m) to 6 ft (1.9 m). The tallest stone at the North-west may have served to indicate the sun as it set behind the dome-shaped Whimble hill (visible in the distance, at centre-right of picture) on the Celtic festival days of Beltane and Lughnasa (present day May Day and Lammas). Like other standing stones in the region (see for example the Kinnerton stone on Page 5), the shapes of these stones appear to mimic the shapes of nearby hills. The stone at the South-west (left of picture) has three cupmarks on its upper surface, and it may have served to indicate the midwinter setting sun. A local legend tells of the stones going to the nearby Hindwell Pool for a drink whenever they hear the bells of Old Radnor church ringing!
Martin J Powell

A mile to the east lies ‘Castle Ring’ an ancient hill fort and close by is Offa’s Dyke. Built in the 8th. century, Offa’s Dyke is a significant feature of the landscape, wending it’s way across the Border Country and is now a long distance footpath enjoyed by many walkers.

A site of even greater archeological significance has been discovered more recently:
An unusually large ring ditch near Walton Court Farm, in Radnorshire’s Walton Basin. The ring ditch, which was identified as a cropmark from aerial photography, measures around 100m diameter and is defined by a relatively narrow ditch. Part of the site underlies two Roman marching camps and the excavation was designed to test their relationship to the ring ditch.
The Walton Court ring ditch is by far the largest such site in mid and north-east Wales ...

Tourism is not new to this area. During Victorian times ‘Water-Break-its-Neck’, the hidden waterfall at the westerly end of Radnor valley was an excursion for visitors to the spa town of Llandrindod Wells and is still today well worth exploring.