The Vale of Glamorgan was described by Thomas Carlyle as "the Welsh Paradise of Sleepy Hollow". Its villages nestle among narrow lanes behind the dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches of the Bristol Channel with castles, churches, country pubs, Neolithic burial chambers and grand mansions bearing witness to countless tales of religion, love and war. Through the ages the wealthy have chosen to live in the Vale, from the Norman conquerors who built the castles and the coal and iron magnates of the 19th century who constructed luxurious mansions, to the pop stars, footballers, businessmen and politicians of today who see the area as an attractive peaceful haven. The villages of the Vale are rich in history and legend and this book gives a brief description of each, their attractions and a little of their history.
Geoffrey Davies was born in Porthcawl and raised in a former mining village, attending a valley grammar school before studying history and philosophy at St David's Lampeter. After a career in investment and marketing he retired to Carmarthenshire. His family roots are in the the Vale of Glamorgan where he spent summer days on the beach at Ogmore or exploring the castles and churches among the villages.