This one had been bumping around the top of my list for ages, years, but seeing as it's so far away, at least a three to four hour drive and North Wales is so much closer, but i'm here now and i'm not going to waste the opportunity. I parked in the entrance to the Electricity sub station just to the west of the circle, reckoning that no-one would be coming this early in the morning, and they didn't. Then we rode the bikes down to the left hand gate , Eric's went under the gate mine over it then a one minute ride up to the medley of animal pens, curious young cows ran alongside the fence, Eric was more interested in them than the stones so I was able to have a quiet moment or ten with the stone circle.
For it must be a stone circle, the map says only cairn but what do maps know, bah, who makes cairns with stones this big. Each stone is of a singular shape meticulously chosen for it's odd shape, the corrugated stones are particularly interesting. One of the two tallest stones seems to have been cut in two the line of the cut so perfect it must have been a Sith lord up to mischief with his light saber. If a stone circle it be then it would have been the best stone circle in the whole of the Preselis, Gors Fawr could be walked through without noticing it by someone unused to such things, and Bedd Arthur isn't even a circle. If you know where to look Budloy standing stone can just be seen across the slight valley.
I really liked this place, it didn't disappoint at all, even the cows or the farming utensils did nothing to blunt my experience here, just imagine what it would be like if it was in pristine condition, mind blowing.
Without doubt the highlight of the day – what a cracker of a site!
Directions: Taking the minor road east out of Tufton you come to an electricity sub power station on the left. Just beyond this are two metal field gates also on the left – park here. Go over the left hand side locked gate (or under it as I did as the track was so eroded) and follow the track straight up to the stones – 5 minutes walk.
Be warned – the track becomes increasingly muddy – particularly at the top of the track near the stones where there are animal pens and more gates to cross.
This really is a lovely setting to sit, rest and contemplate the meaning of life!
The views are fab, the hills to one side, the tumbling waters of the reservoir in the distance.
As for the cairn itself, I counted 9 large standing stones, with many fallen all around of different sizes. The stones which catch the eye are the 'rippled' ones. I have never seen stones like this before, very unusual and quite pretty in their own way.
I would highly recommend a visit to this site but I would suggest you take your wellies!
My, this is a great site. It really is...... Guess I should have done more homework, but to say the designation 'cairn' on the 1:25 map hardly does this justice would be an understatement of megalithic proportions.
Needless to say I start off heading up the main track in true Gladman fashion, only to find two farm lads searching for their missing car keys in a muddy field. OK...... is that the sound of dueling banjos in the wind I hear?
Anyway, out comes the map and - after confirming with the farmer, who's arrived on-site to rescue the aforementioned - I retreat and cut through the un-signposted field gate to the right, whereby a stile leads in a short while to the stone circle. C'mon, it has to be called one, surely?
The field is a churned mass of mud, courtesy of an assembled throng of bovines thankfully held at bay in an enclosure made of those motorway central reservation barrier things. The circle stones/kerb stones/whatever are substantial, the magical Y Preselau, raising a misty head above and beyond to my right, well, magical. Water streams down the Rosebush Reservoir Dam, its source soon replenished by a vicious weather front moving in to give me a fearful hammering. But hey, tucked up in my waterproofs this is a marvellously evocative place, a place to sit and wonder why is it so little known?
Definitely a stone circle, very different from two other stone cricles, Gors Fwar and Bedd Arthur, in Pembrokeshire. Is it a much later date? A cairn (as marked on the OS Map) inside the circle suggest this. Looking a the large stones it is difficult to believe they were once supporting walls.
There is another unusual stone, in addition to the 'chair' and 'ribbed' stones. That is a diamond shaped one.
Visited 21st June 2004: This site was the highlight of our Summer Solstice. We parked on the little lane that runs to the south of the Dyffryn Stones next to a dilapidated set of farm buildings (SN05502825) Dyffryn Stones. The walk from there to the stones was pretty easy, but a bit on the muddy side.
The stones themselves are in a field adjacent to the public footpath. The size of them was surprising, and the fact that there are stones still standing. It's much more circle-like than I anticipated. If the remaining standing stones are kerb stones, then this is a very unusual site. Was this once a circular chambered cairn? There's quite a bit of foliage in the centre of the cairn, but it's easy enough to see that there's not much sign of a chamber. Very curious.
Another curious thing about Dyffryn are a couple of corrugated stones on the northern side of the cairn. In cross section they look like a ripple. It's hard to imagine this effect being artificially created, so it's likely that these stones were chosen specifically for their look.
Access to this site is reasonably good, and it's well worth the visit. Not as glamorous as Gors Fawr, but more mysterious.
When you're at the stones, you're on the slope of Bernard's Well Mountain. The actual 'Bernard's Well' is on the opposite side of road to the Dyffryn Stones.
It's Saint Bernard to you, and no, he wasn't a dog. A little tale concerning his spring is mentioned in Giraldus Cambrensis' Itinary through Wales (chapter 2):
..during the reign of king Henry I., a rich man, who had a residence on the northern side of the Preseleu mountain, was warned for three successive nights, by dreams, that if he put his hand under a stone which hung over the spring of a neighbouring well, called the fountain of St. Bernacus, he would find there a golden torques [sic]. Obeying the admonition on the third day, he received, from a viper, a deadly wound in his finger;
but as it appears that many treasures have been discovered through dreams, it seem to me probable that, with respect to rumours, in the same manner as to dreams, some ought, and some ought not, to be believed.
What's this saying - that rich people shouldn't be greedy? If so it was a bit unfair taunting him with the dream in the first place.
Coflein says on the well: "A possibly natural water-filled hollow, protected by a modern masonary hood. Close by are traces of a medieval chapel dedicated to the saint," and then tantalisingly: "a possible inscribed monolith was formerly noted."
An alternative name is 'St Brynach's Well', which does seem a bit more persuasive, given his connections with local spots like Carn Ingli.