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Preseli mountain highs (part two, starring treaclechops & Rupie)

26 May 2003

Murky Monday morning, and whilst waiting for the rest of our party to rise, treaclechops, Rupert and me wanted to go see some stuff, despite the howling chilly winds and the poor visibility. We headed out towards the Tafarn y Bwlch complex, where according to the map, a number of standing stones could be found.

As we trudged up the bleak looking path, we first came across a pair on the left hand side of the track leaning violently over as if bracing themselves against the wind. The light was low and the mizzle and murk prevented me from sketching but treaclechops liked the moodiness of it and, naturally, got out her camera. They stood stoicly together about 3 feet high, and the place felt very bleak. I think treaclechops probably got some splendid shots. Fingers-crossed….

Rupert, being only a small boy, felt the cold more quickly than either of his two well-upholstered female companions so a stripey blanket was wrapped around him, and with the addition of a black suede Australian bush hat, looked like a strange combination of iron-age-meets-wild-west. However, we pressed on towards an altogether grander affair , the Waun Mawn stone, part of the same complex only about 100 bone chilling metres up the hillside on the right hand side of the track…a single menhir about 6 or 7 feet high with her square footprint in a pool of boggy water with marsh grass growing jauntily up against it. Charlie Dimmock couldn’t have produced a more picturesque water-feature. Indeed, so stately and serene was this menhir, in her own little pool, we felt she looked like the lady of the lake.

We noticed on our map that there were a number of other standing stones, again part of this Tafarn y Bwylch group, just about 200ms away to the east, but by this time we were so cold, that we just couldn’t be arsed.

In the warmth of the car we travelled on towards Glynsaithmaen, which is an area particularly rich in cairns, settlements and earthworks. There is a standing stone behind the farm in the village, but we didn’t see that one, instead we found Glynaeron 1 and Glynaeron 2. (I have just added these sites to this website, as I couldn’t see that anyone else had – I hope I’m not wrong on the old map references and the names. Please let me know me if I am!)

There is no public access to Glynaeron 2, but you could see it at the edge of the field, which rose sharply up towards a bit of a forested hill. Treaclechops and Rupert, being nice god-fearing people and rightly worried about the laws of trespass, watched nervously as I vaulted over the gate and started trotting towards it around the field boundary in order to get a photo. I could hear a woman on a horse clip-clopping down the lane and her voice as she asked treaclechops: “are you lost?” It was too late, I was already trespassing. Nothing to do but press on, get the photo and get back as fast as poss. By the time I returned she’d gone and we were off in the car. The stone itself is very lonely but quite grand at about 7 or 8 feet high. Again with a square footprint.

Glynaeron 1 was a bit harder to find… Only a 50 or 60 metres away from Glynaeron 2 it is so hidden as to be imperceptible. Now firmly integrated into the hedge/field/lane boundary and hidden under a hawthorn bush, Rupert noticed the top of it just peeping up. The lanesides in these parts are built from rough stones piled up out of which now grows a myriad of wildflowers, grass, gorse and the like. Up this, about 5 foot high, we raised Rupert for closer inspection. Skipping precariously along the top of said laneside, he scurried under the hawthorn and triumphantly exclaimed: “It’s here!” Delighted with his discovery, we scrambled up the laneside to see. Indeed, here it was. Suddenly it became easy to see how a 6 foot tall menhir could become ‘lost’. We posed awkwardly for photographs then slid down on our bottoms, creating grassy skidmarks on our jeans to test any biological washing powder to its limits.

Next stop, Tre-Fach a large standing stone, again about 8 feet high, on private land, but only 15 ms from the road. On a steep hillside, this menhir is in a very dramatic position being overlooked by Mynedd Carningli. Very stately.

Lastly, we encountered Cerrig y Gof. What kind of strangeness is THIS?! Five cist-like chambers arranged like the spokes of a wheel, in varying states of disrepair, some with capstones, dolmen-like, some with only three sides of their chambers remaining, overlooking Dinas Head. A real mish-mash is all that is left. But what a mish-mash! A decidedly weird place and like NOTHING I have ever encountered before. At its widest point it must’ve measured 30 or 40 metres across. It lies only 10 metres away from the main A487 Fishguard to Cardigan road and can be clearly seen through a small gate in the hedge. I tried to make sense of it… was it one almighty barrow-like structure at one time? It showed no hint of hump or raising as many still do. We noticed there was a standing stone in the same field, but as we were already trespassing, and the field was very wet and full of bullocks, we didn’t venture too far further.

I know it’s not entirely megalithic, but later that day after supper, I wanted to go out and my kids and I discovered the beautiful village of Cwm-yr-Eglwys, (which, for ease of pronunciation for soft southern bastards like us, we renamed Cwm-on-Eyleen) at the foot of Dinas Head at SN015401. A more beautiful, picturesque and painfully sweeeeet place you could not imagine. A tiny little bay, with tiny little beach, flanked by rockpools, slatey cliffs, and at the head of it all stand the old broken faade of an ancient church overlooking it all. Rupert went rockpooling, I got out my sketchbook, flask of tea and fags and Cleo texted all her friends as the sun dipped low and the clear water changed from turquoise to bottle green. I later discovered that behind the cliffs I had sketched was an ancient enclosure.

Tre-Fach Standing Stone — Fieldnotes

31.05.03ce
A large standing stone, about 8 feet high, on private land, but only 15 ms from the road. On a steep hillside, this menhir is in a very dramatic position being overlooked by Mynedd Carningli. Very stately.

Cerrig y Gof — Fieldnotes

31.05.03ce
What kind of strangeness is THIS?!

Five cist-like chambers arranged like the spokes of a wheel, in varying states of disrepair, some with capstones, dolmen-like, some with only three sides of their chambers remaining, overlooking Dinas Head. A real mish-mash is all that is left. But what a mish-mash!

A decidedly weird place and like NOTHING I have ever encountered before. At its widest point it must’ve measured 30 or 40 metres across. It lies only 10 metres away from the main A487 Fishguard to Cardigan road and can be clearly seen through a small gate in the hedge.

I tried to make sense of it… was it one almighty barrow-like structure at one time? It showed no hint of hump or raising as many still do. Treaclechops noticed there was a standing stone in the same field, but as we were already trespassing, and the field was very wet and full of bullocks, we didn’t venture too far further.

Tafarn y Bwlch — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Tafarn y Bwlch</b>Posted by Jane

Waun Mawn Stone — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Waun Mawn Stone</b>Posted by Jane

Maen-y-Parc 'A' — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Maen-y-Parc 'A'</b>Posted by Jane

Maen-y-Parc 'B' and 'C' — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Maen-y-Parc 'B' and 'C'</b>Posted by Jane

Tre-Fach Standing Stone — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Tre-Fach Standing Stone</b>Posted by Jane

Cerrig y Gof — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by Jane<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by Jane<b>Cerrig y Gof</b>Posted by Jane

Tre-Fach Standing Stone — Images

03.06.03ce
<b>Tre-Fach Standing Stone</b>Posted by Jane
Jane Posted by Jane
31st May 2003ce
Edited 2nd June 2003ce


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