Chapel Lane

Chapel Lane (also known as Mill Lane)


Chapel Lane which runs from Trehill, north to Peterston-Super-Ely is an old road that makes up part of right of way for pedestrians between Trehill/St Nicholas and Cottrell and Bonvilston.  It runs straight for a short length north from Trehill, passing to the west of Y Gaer, then twisting and descending to Peterston.  In places it’s a ground level track, and in others it lies in a steeply banked cutting.

The lane gets its name from linking two St Nicholas Chapels, Croes-y-Parc (Baptist) and Trehill (Methodist - now Presbyterian).  When built, Croes-y-Parc was within the St Nicholas Parish and joined to the village by Chapel Lane.
Gravestones at Croes-y-Parc demonstrate the usage by St Nicholas residents.

The alternative name (Mill Lane) comes from it being the route from the village to the mills at Peterston.

Chapel Lane has been vital in the development of St Nicholas as it provided the shortest horse and cart route to:
two quarries,
Peterston Bridge, village and railway station,
Two mills (there were none in St. Nicholas),
Four farms,
Croes-y-Parc Baptist Chapel,

Chapel Lane also provided links to the bridge at Peterston of the roads that ran from LLandaff Cathedral to the important sites of Celtic Christianity, at Llantwit Major, Llancarfan, etc. 

At some time, the line of Chapel Lane was altered, possibly to hide it from view from Cottrell House.  Up until the early C19th horse and cart access to Homri Farm was possible along a “lost” track – the current path being a recent development.

On May 8, 1929 a complaint was made to the police in regards to Dangerous Driving by five motorcyclists competing in the Reliability Run.  They failed to sound their horns before turning one of the sharp bends, startling a group of pedestrians including members of the Machintosh and Cory families.

Although it’s never had a bitumen or concrete surface, Chapel Lane has been used by local citizens for travel by foot, bicycle and horse/cart for centuries.  It has been well maintained in the past...

Chapel Lane Today

Chapel Lane has been sadly neglected by those responsible for its upkeep.  Parts of it have been allowed to wash away and in other parts, mud from the verges has covered the hardcore surface to a depth of more than 10cm in places.

Residents of St. Nicholas can remember being able to cycle from Trehill to Peterston-Super-Ely, using Chapel Lane, but today, due to neglect, the public right of way is only passable in the driest of weather.  Even then, the trees that have encroached obstruct passage.

Manhole covers show that the Lane is also an important part of todays telephone network, linking St Nicholas with the telephone exchange at Peterston – and until recently (and probably some continue to this day), residents of St. Nicholas would say “Peterston” ahead of their phone number, rather than speaking out the dialling code when giving their phone number.

Recent footprints, hoof marks, horse dung and tyre tracks can be found on the lane, confirming its continued use as a means of transport – however, it may be appropriate to restrict motorised traffic entering the lane with a removable bollards or barrier to protect the surface and to keep walkers of all ages safe.  Other than BT engineers, very few motorists use Chapel Lane, and the ones that do tend to be following the directions given by their SatNavs.

Chapel Lane is a significant part of Valeways Walk No. 37 Peterston-super-Ely: A Ridge and Valley Walk and other walks, and is essential for access to the footpaths across Cottrell Park and to Cottrell Woods and Ice Pond.