The final site of the day proves to be a winner. By the time we reach Bannau Sir Gaer, all but one of my friends has had enough, and don’t even make the effort to leave the path the look for this. The one who is left at least comes to the circle, but isn’t massively impressed, to be honest. Which just shows that this game isn’t for everyone!
And so it comes to be that I’m left here on my own for a while, just as the sun re-emerges to illuminate the site in a golden glow, while the mountain backdrop is silhouetted into a wall of dark browns and black shadow. Spectacular. The circle is a wreck, it doesn’t matter a bit. A fine addition to the utterly compelling megalithic complex spread across these wild uplands.
I parked to the southwest of the circle, in the carpark by the meeting of two rivers, the Sychnant and Afon sawddle, on the Beacons way footpath.
The way up to the stone circle is long and hard, and the ring isn't easy to spot, but it is in a spectacular setting. Just follow the Sychnant east gently climbing the hill and when the river branches of to the left follow that uphill, when it has ceased being even a stream and gone underground break of at 90 degrees and go straight up hill. This should take directly to the stone circle.
Though if you do find it you may wonder why you bothered, most of the stones are just a bald pate amongst the grass, one stone was loose so I picked it up to get an idea of how hard it is to build a stone circle (a piece of cake as it happens)
and under the stone was its original stone hole so I re-erected it, Yaaay. Only two or three are of any size, two to three feet tall, and I would guess three men could haul it up from the rocky valley below.
But all of that is just by the way, its the scenery
that takes ones breath away specifically the Bannau sir Gaer ridge, Fan Foel and Fan Brcheiniog, it is truly gorgeous, and red kites everywhere.....ace !
Below the ridge of Bannau sir Gaer is llyn y fan fach, the lake from which a faerie lady emerged and had family with a local farmer whose offspring are the physicians, said to be the Pant Meddygon stone row a few miles north at the usk reservoir. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/9087/pant_meddygon.html