Tag Archives: Amy Pond

Llandaff, Cardiff – August 2014

Llandaff Cathedral GreenHalloooo,

lately  there has been a lot of grotty weather so lets go back in time again and go to yet another Welsh location – Llandaff! My holiday in August 2014 was so much fun and I love to remember and tell you all about it!

Llandaff is north of Cardiff City Centre, beside the River Taff. It is famous for being the birthplace of Roald Dahl, the author of children’s books and Terry Nation – the creator of the Daleks!Look at the Roald Dahl plaque!

I arrived there on a nice tranquil summer’s evening. I picked a great night to go as I was there on the day of the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the 1st World War, and the Welsh National Service of Remembrance was being held that night in Llandaff Cathedral.

Look, they're waiting for the action!

This location was used in the episode The Eleventh Hour (2010) under the name of Leadworth, the home of Amelia Pond.  This was where the newly-regenerated Doctor first met Amy and he investigated the village to find Prisoner Zero to save the world from incineration by the Atraxi!  When he met young Amy she was worried about the crack in her wall. Did you know that Steven Moffat came up with the idea after looking at a crack in his ceiling?

Once I got to the middle of Llandaff I saw some  kids playing football in the cathedral green where the Raggedy Man first met Rory. I asked them if I could play and I got a match! I didn’t score any goals but I got an assist, so that was good. It was a great match that I really enjoyed playing even though the team that I was on lost.

Any sign of Prisoner Zero?

The green seemed much smaller than on the TV. There was no sign of the duck-pond without any ducks! That was just built for the episode and is not there in real life. There was no exploded phone box either – lots of details were added to make Llandaff look like a typical English village.

No ducks in the duck pond. Or a pond!

At one end of the green is a very special statue which is the Llandaff War Memorial created by Sir William Goscombe John. It is called The Memorial Group,  and used to be called ‘The Departure’. There are three stones with a female figure in the middle, which represents Llandaff, and beside her is a workman, representing the village, and a cadet representing the school.  You will recognise this statue from The Family of Blood ( 2007) when Tim Latimer attends a Remembrance Day Service as an old man, watched at a far distance by the Tenth Doctor and Martha.

The Memorial Group

After the match I went to walk around the cathedral whilst the World War 1 Commemoration preparations went on inside! I saw some people filming outside of the church for BBC  and ITV News as I walked around to tire my feet out. It was fun exploring about the grounds and watching the guests arrive for the service.

ITV News. Woooh!

There was no sign of Prisoner Zero or a giant Atraxi eye floating above the spire! Llandaff Cathedral is also the location of the wedding of John Smith ( the Tenth Doctor) and Nurse Redfern in the Family of Blood ( 2007) and of course is it the Church of Auvers from Vincent and the Doctor (2010) where the Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and Amy confront the lonely Krafayis. Luckily there was no sign of the Krafayis either!

Llandaff Cathedral

After I left Llandaff I returned to my hotel to watch the church service that was broadcast live on S4C. It was led by the Archbishop of Wales. We kept our lights out along with the rest of the nation as a mark of respect because 100 years ago the Foreign Secretary sadly said

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

My heart goes out to all the people that fought and lost loved ones in the war.

The Eleventh Hour White House

My first anniversary of blogging will come soon and to celebrate Project Indigo’s first birthday I will be holding a mega epic competition; please don’t miss it!I’m welling up with excitement and can’t wait to tell you about it!

Thanks for reading ! Gooooodbuy!

Skenfrith, Monmouthshire – August 2014

In the Castle Grounds .Hello – is this a dream or is it reality? I don’t know, you choose!

Today we are travelling back in time again to my summer holiday in Wales, and visiting Skenfrith – a filming location for the Eleventh Doctor episode Amy’s Choice ( 2010).

Before we start I would like to tell you two facts I have learnt this week. Firstly I became Kids Blog Club‘s first ever Kid Blog Star of the Week which was quite good. What am I saying? It was AMAZING! Secondly, Project Indigo has now reached 10,000 views. Woooh – hooo! Thank you all so much for helping me do this, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures so far and will keep reading about them in the future.

No old people coming from Sarn today!

Now, time to get on with the post. Skenfrith is a small village near Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, South East Wales and is  close to the English border. On the way there my TARDIS got stuck on a never ending muddy road and it took me a while to find it! When I landed my TARDIS I could recognise that I was in Upper Leadworth where Amy is pregnant and Rory has a pony-tail. Or is it? Are they just dreaming? Are they in Leadworth or are they in the TARDIS slowly freezing to death?  Luckily for me there was no sign of the Dream Lord when I visited – or was there? I don’t know! It was all so confusing, just like in the episode.

When I parked my TARDIS it was right opposite Sarn,the Residential Care Home where the Eknodines lived in disguise as VERY old people.

Still no one coming out...

Straight away I went across to Skenfrith Castle, or what is left of it. In Amy’s Choice this is where the children were playing on a school trip. The Doctor, Amy and Rory fell asleep and woke up to find the children have been turned to dust! I was pretty brave to go there, wasn’t I?

No piles of dust left . Or play things .

The play park was not there anymore which was a shame as I was looking forward to playing on the swings like the Doctor, and saying ‘bow-ties are cool!’. But there was a mysterious circle in the grass, maybe the ghost of a roundabout?

Mysterious circle ... what will it do ?

Skenfrith Castle is managed by CADW and the National Trust and it is free to explore. It is in the centre of Skenfrith on the banks of the River Monnow.

Welcome to Skenfrith Castle !

Along with White Castle and Grosmont Castle it is one of the ‘Three Castles’ in the Monnow Valley built during the Norman Conquest. It was probably built in the early 13th Century by Hubert de Burgh.

Here is the Great Tower , everyone !

It was fun exploring the ruins and it was amazing to be in an 800 year old ex-building!

My only escape is climbing !

Next I explored the village which the Doctor raced around in a camper van rescuing the young people. Much of the village is built with stone that was originally used to build the castle! It was so quiet and peaceful that I did not see anybody – perhaps the Eknodines had come back?

Look out for a mad man in a camper van!

In the middle of the village stands St Bridget’s Church which was consecrated in 1207. This medieval church is one of the oldest in Monmouthshire. The original altar stone was hidden in the church floor to protect it during the Reformation!

It was at this spot beside the church where the Doctor realised that ‘this one is going to be tricky!’  It was a little bit tricky, yeah!

This one is going to be tricky !

I spent a bit of time looking for the Doctor’s ‘nice benches’ where he, Amy and Rory  kept nodding off- there were lots of benches to choose from so I tried them all wondering which one was the one. I might not have found it but it was worth a try! For such a small village there were A LOT of benches!

Trying out a bench....

I had such a nice time in the beautiful village of Skenfrith, it was great and I really felt as if I was in Upper Leadworth. I kept imagining that I was in a dream and the Doctor would walk round the corner at any moment!

Thank you for reading about my Skenfrith adventure, I hope to see you back again soon.

Night night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite! Sweet dreams!

Neath Abbey, Neath Port Talbot – August 2014

This feels cosyCroeso nol !

I am saying ‘Welcome Back’ in Welsh because we are travelling back in time and space again to Wales in August 2014. This time we are at Neath Abbey in the town of Neath which has been used as the filming location for several Eleventh Doctor episodes.

Croeso a Abaty Nedd

Neath Abbey is close to Neath but it feels away from it all and it is a very tranquil place to visit. It is managed by CADW who protect Wales’ heritage – CADW is a Welsh word meaning ‘to keep or protect’.

Neath Abbey is 885 years old and was first established all the way back in 1129AD by the Norman Richard de Granville for Savigniac Monks from Western Normandy in France. It became a Cistercian monastery in 1149. The abbey remained open until 1539 when the Tudor King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. The abbey is now fallen into ruins but you can use your imagination to feel what it was like to be there when it was the largest abbey in Wales.

What is that?

When I visited it was very peaceful and I was alone with my companions. The weather was mild, ideal for exploring the area where, in Vincent and the Doctor (2010), Vincent van Gogh fought the Krafayis – a monster only he could see! Luckily,there was no alien there when I visited. Or was there…?

The Control Room in The Beast Below (2010) was also located in Abaty Nedd (what Welsh people would call it) where the Doctor and Liz 10 looked at the brain of what keeps the Starship UK up in space – a Star Whale which was the last of it’s kind !

Also , the Gangers in the two- part episode The Rebel Flesh and the Almost People (2011) used a machine in one of the chambers of the monastery they worked in to turn the Flesh into Gangers – again, filmed here at the abbey.

I could not recognise any of these scenes; the abbey looked a lot different in real life. The cast and crew must have transformed the whole place to film these episodes! There were also barriers all over the site as the horrible weather we had in the winter damaged the walls and they were not safe. CADW are working to save the abbey from further damage.

I spent my time there trying to picture what the abbey would have looked like before it was dissolved and it was, as historian John Leland put it “the fairest abbey of all Wales.” I like visiting ruins because I like to put myself in the same places where history has been made! I think the building is in very good condition for it’s age really. I did make friends as I came out – with a lovely brown dog. We had a fun game of ‘fetch’ and apparently he goes to the abbey everyday for his walk so if you go I hope you bump into him.

And no , that ISN'T the Dartmoor Hound !

I suggest that all Doctor Who fans should definitely go and visit – it is a great place and it’s free to get in!

Thanks for reading – my next post will be about an exclusive Classic Doctor Who location that I was lucky enough to visit at the weekend. I hope you come back and check it out!

Dewch yn ol yn fuan!