The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

Gwal-y-Filiast

Burial Chamber

Fieldnotes

I can't believe I didn't add any field notes from my last visit six years ago, even though that was more than half a lifetime ago for Eric he still said "oh I remember this one" and that was before we even got to it.

Heading south out of Llanglydwen, take your first right turn, then turn right into the track that leads to Penbontbren cottage, they let me park there last time but this time I leave it further up the track in the corner to one side, then walk down to the house and pass it by on it's right hand side, through a red gate. Then take your left hand fork passing a standing stone/old gate post and in one minute the most beautiful of Preseli's chromlechs is revealed.
Looking down over the river but not in site of it, is the greyhounds lair, what is it with greyhounds lairs in Wales? there is at least three that i've been to, is it the ancient name for it or a modern thing?
I walk around and around it, taking pictures from strange angles that I didn't explore last time, but last time the whole family and the dog were here, this time it's just Eric and me, and he's got a new football, so i'm free to go this way and that. Some chalked/burnt stick graffiti is on the inside, including a spiral in black, it's all old stuff that's wearing away, it'll be gone by autumn.

On the edge of the Preseli mountains but not in site of it, this is a must see dolmen, so many pictures of Coaten Arthur and Carreg Samson, this place is well under used, and little visited. A secret little gem, if i'd come a few weeks later there would have been bluebells too, so much beauty and wonder in one place would have made me quiver. Then again at work a bonus is coming my way soon, so I may come back in a few weeks, and I will be a lucky boy.

Ps.... the walk back was timed to more or less fifteen minutes, so there's no excuses for not coming.
postman Posted by postman
17th April 2012ce
Edited 25th August 2012ce

Comments (4)

Your enthusiasm always shows in your fieldnotes Mr P. And you do go to the most amazing places. This one looks so different amongst the trees. Do keep up the good work.

I don't really know anything about the greyhounds but since you asked I wondered if I could find something more. I mean here
http://www.archive.org/stream/afl2317.0001.001.umich.edu#page/78/mode/2u
Marie Trevelyan says the connection of 'Ceridwen the moon goddess' with her symbol the greyhound bitch is 'well known'. That's 1909 and it does rather smack of new-ageness even then?! and doubtless repeated and elaborated a million times since.
and when you look at the Mabinogion, where the Ceridwen story is
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/mab/mab32.htm
on p472, the word 'greyhound' is mentioned precisely Once and then the next sentence Ceridwen / Caridwen is an otter. But you don't hear about megaliths devoted to otters do you. And she changes into half a dozen other things too.

Although, it's interesting that these stones are always the greyhound Bitch's lair isn't it, not Mr Greyhound's. So that makes you wonder maybe it's right after all, maybe they are connected with this legendary shapeshifting type.*

*have just noticed, I think the speculation of "stones named after greyhound bitch = must be Ceridwen" was made in a book called 'the mythology and rites of the british druids' in 1809
http://archive.org/stream/mythologyandrit00davigoog#page/n408/mode/2up
and I guess it's stuck, repeated like fact over and over again.

If it is right though, the Mabinogion stories are like Proper Old, maybe 12th century, and maybe including stuff from much older stories.

So I guess it'd be interesting (though difficult) to try and find old references to the actual places and see what they were called time back way back. Cos as it stands all my waffling hasn't really answered the question at all has it.

Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th April 2012ce
Thanks Rhiannon, brilliant as ever. I'd love to go and see the otters holt, I imagine it would be like a fogou or a soutterain. They weren't always called fogous were they? postman Posted by postman
17th April 2012ce
"I am the womb of every holt"

http://www.amergin.net/songofamergin.html

Don't ask me what it means, but it features in (inevitably) Susan Cooper's "Silver on the Tree".
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
17th April 2012ce
There's also a couple of mountains bearing the name, Postie.... e.g

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/12479/carneddyfiliast.html

There's another in the Glyderau, although that hasn't any prehistoric monument (that I could find, anyway). Wonderful petrified sea-bed, though.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th April 2012ce
You must be logged in to add a comment