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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 08:53 GMT
Memorial for hunter's horse leap
A painting of Thomas Ap Harri on horseback
The picture was painted by Gwynedd-based artist Chris Hull
An historic leap by a 16th Century horseman which gave a nearby village its name is to be commemorated.

Local legend says Thomas Ap Harri was returning from a hunting trip on Halkyn mountain, Flintshire, when he was challenged to jump a mineshaft.

The hunter, possibly fortified with drink, accepted the bet and cleared the 25ft (7.6m) jump on his faithful horse.

A painting will be put up at the site near Naid y March (Horse's Leap) which is currently marked by two stones.

The area was well known for its lead mines, with some shafts dating back to Roman times.

The painting, by Bethesda-based artist Chris Hull, was commissioned by Flintshire Countryside Service and will be placed inside an iron frame alongside a display panel.

Halkyn Mountain Ranger, Rachael Watson
His horse wouldn't have been a modern hunter either, but a much heavier and sturdier animal, not really suited to jumping, so it would have been a pretty brave - or foolhardy - thing to do
Mountain ranger Rachael Watson

Other animals from the area, including sheep and great crested newts, will also feature in the iron frame designed by local artist Richard Jones.

The work will be paid for by funds donated by the Cemex Foundation, a charitable trust set up by quarrying company Cemex.

Halkyn mountain ranger Rachael Watson said: "It's a fascinating story and one very much in keeping with Halkyn mountain common.

"The standing stones are actually Bronze Age in origin and must have come from somewhere else but were brought to the spot to mark Thomas's achievement.

"His horse wouldn't have been a modern hunter either, but a much heavier and sturdier animal, not really suited to jumping, so it would have been a pretty brave - or foolhardy - thing to do.

"But the common is still hugely popular with horse riders and many of them have moved to the area because it offers such good opportunities to ride amid such stunning scenery."

Halkyn mountain common is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Conservation Area.



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03 Apr 07 |  North East Wales

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