Appeal for pilgrim's statue in mid Wales has days to reach its target

A final push is needed for a fundraising appeal to re-erect a sculpture of a pilgrim on a hilltop – with just days left to find the money.

The statue after the collapse
The statue after the collapse

The Pilgrim, or Y Pererin in the Welsh language, was created by artist Glenn Morris and installed on Penlan, the hill overlooking Strata Florida Abbey, near Pontrhydfendigaid, in 2012.

Sadly, the sculpture collapsed in high winds in 2019 and now lays forlorn on the hilltop, located between Devil’s Bridge and Tregaron in the Cambrian Mountains.

A drive to raise £7,500 to re-erect the sculpture is almost at its target, with £700 to go.

Originally planned as part of a temporary exhibition, it became a popular part of the landscape, with strong connections to Welsh culture, language and identity.

The fundraising appeal aims to rebuild a new stronger, permanent Pilgrim to stand the tests of time.

The statue before the collapse

Planning permission for the new sculpture has already been secured and the World Monuments Fund has offered to provide match funding if the community raises £7,500 by February 3.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the fundraising target can donate online at https://localgiving.org/appeal/pilgrim

An extra fundraising event for the Pilgrim appeal is being held on February 18. A 3.5 mile walk along a mixture of logging roads, farmlands and through ancient forest to reach the 12th century Cistercian abbey ruins of Strata Florida will be followed by a guided exhibition tour and Welsh tea.

This pilgrimage will be led by Guided Pilgrimage, a not-for-profit company providing a range of Celtic pilgrimage experiences in West Wales.

Strata Florida was a thriving community 900 years ago. Today, the ruins of the old abbey church and part of the cloisters are in the care of Cadw, the Welsh Government's heritage agency, and can be visited by the public from Easter to late autumn.

The remains are only a small fraction of what was once a much larger abbey, stretching over an area of 126 acres where the rest survives below ground as a well-preserved archaeology.

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