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A cist lying in the valley next to the River Bran. The cist was destroyed during road straightening, but added to TMA as it provides a tantalising hint that the apparent dearth of prehistoric occupation in these highland valleys is probably illusory.
Canmore has the following:
A short cist containing a beaker burial was found, late in July 1959, during road straightening through a natural morainic hillock.(W G Bannerman, County Road Surveyor) Only a piece of charcoal was found with the beaker which is in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS)
Possibly a long barrow, possibly nothing more than a natural mound disturbed by chalk digging. Pastscape has the following:
The remains of an elongated E-W mound, much cut about at both ends by stone-diggers, situated about 1/4 mile west of the monument. Perhaps the remnant of a long barrow. Calne Without 1 - a doubtful long barrow almost destroyed by flint diggers. Orientation E-W?.
Old diggings have resulted in large pits surrounding and encroaching upon what appears to be an E-W mound 0.6m. high. This assumes that the slight ledge or berm between the mound and the quarry faces represents the original land surface. If it is a long barrow both ends have been destroyed. The original authority for identification is obscure, but Grinsell may be incorrect in virtually dismissing it. 1:2500 survey revised.
The Ordnance Survey 1/25000 (Explorer) shows four barrows on the western knoll of the Cherhill Down ridge, poised above steep slopes. Three are apparent on the ground.
Pastscape has the following:
Calne Without 2, 2a, 2b and 2d.
2 - SU 03836939 - a bowl barrow 27 x 1ft ('A')
2a- SU 03846933 - a bowl barrow 24 x 1ft. ('B')
2d- SU 03936924 - a bowl barrow 27 x 1ft ('C')
2b- SU 03856937 - a saucer barrow 53ft x 1ft overall ('D'). (2)
Calne Without 2a and 2d are small ditchless bowl barrows 0.6m high.
2b is a saucer barrow. The mound is 0.4m high and the bank 0.3m high.
'E' At SU 03936936 is a circular depression 1.7m deep surrounded by a bank 11.0m high. It has the appearance of a pond barrow but is not mentioned by Grinsell in V.C.H.
Calne Without 2 cannot be traced but from its position on a steep chalk scarp it would seem unlikely to have been a barrow.
The Bronze Age round barrows described as Grinsell's Calne Without 2a (`B'), 2b (`D'), and the pond barrow (`E') are visible on aerial photographs. `B' is visible as a mound and surrounding ditch with a diameter of 10m. `D' is visible as a mound possibly surrounded by a ditch, surrounded by a ring bank which appears to have an external ditch and has an overall diameter of 10m.
Round cairn on the summit of Easter Head, the northern headland of Dunnet Head, making this presumably the most northerly prehistoric site in mainland Britain. Sadly the cairn has been covered by a modern viewpoint seating area.
Canmore's successive listings tell the story:
This is a small cairn of low elevation with a diameter of approximately 16ft. A surveyor's cairn has been erected on the top.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.
The much mutilated, grass-covered remains of this cairn survive to a maximum height of 1.5m and measure some 12.0m in diameter. The cairn has been flattened on top where a modern concrete building has been built. Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R B), 23 May 1965.
This roughly circular cairn, 12m in diameter and about 1m high, has been badly damaged within the last two years by the superimposition of a 'scenic viewpoint'.
C E Batey 1982
There are two contrasting man-made monuments to see here, a cairn and improbably sited hut circle, as well as Nature's own efforts in the form of some serious shakeholes.
The name is a bit obscure, as "Wydden" appears to have several different meanings. The most likely for a place-name element seems to be "tree", although generally it means that in the context of particular species, e.g. onn-wydden = ash tree; ffynidd-wydden = fir tree, whereas a non-species specific tree would usually be "coed".
However, a more interesting translation is "wood spirit", as in Bodelwydden ("Home of the Wood Spirit").
Hopefully someone who speaks Welsh can confirm or otherwise!
If it is "tree", the name would be something like "Small pit of the tree" (there's a non-"fach" version a little to the north, with a waterfall).
Pwll-yr-Wydden Fach cairn (SN82921508)
A cairn is located between two shakeholes.Pwll-yr-Wydden Fach hut circle (SN82891510)
It measures 10m in diameter and 0.5m high and is composed of loose small grade stones with some larger stones. The edge of the mound is grassed over. On the north-west lies a large slab and at the centre is a hollow 1.5m across and 0.3m deep.
The hut circle is located at the bottom of a shake hole. Internally it measures 3.2m north to south by 2.8m and is bounded by a low stone wall of roughly coursed slabs and blocks. The wall measures 0.6m thick and survives to a height of 0.6m above the rubble strewn interior. On the west is a well marked entrance flanked on each side by boulders; they measure 1.1m and 1.3m long respectively and are separated by a distance of 0.45m.
Two cairns at the southern end of the Cefn Mawr ridge, to the east of the Gwys Fach and (in the case of the northern cairn) intervisible with Llorfa menhir. Coflein descriptions:
Cwm Fforch-wen (SN78861400)
Situated on the crest of a ridge lies a disturbed cairn. It consists of a stony mound measuring 7m (NE-SW) by 6m and 0.3m high. Towards its SW edge lies a slab, embedded in the cairn, which measures 1.6m long, 0.2m thick and with a height of 0.3m above the mound. Aligned NW-SE, the slab is perhaps the remains of a cist.Llorfa round cairn (SN78731379)
A small cairn lies on roughly level ground on the broad crest of a ridge, a short distance from field walls and sheep folds. The turf covered mound, topped with loose stones, measures 4m in diameter and about 0.4m high. On the immediate N there is a broad band of stones which appears to demarcate the relatively clear ground to the S from the more stony ground to the N.
Description of the site, on Roborough Down next to the Plymouth - Yelverton road (A386):
Early Iron Age Camp.
The camp is formed of circular earthworks; there is no evidence of any stone being used. The outer bank is 100 yards in diameter, the smaller one, or Keep, 100 feet across. To the south the inner bank is still further protected by a sickle-shaped breastwork or agger. The camp is approached by two embanked ways, one from the main road, the other going north east from the camp, crossing both the Buckland road and the main Plymouth-Tavistock road, and can be traced to the south-eastern end of the golf links. The inner bank has been heavily planted with hawthorns and may well have been used as a pound for stray animals. There is also a small secondary earthwork, 50 feet in diameter, across the road opposite the banked trench, and a long embankment. The camp was almost certainly used as a beacon; on Spry's 16th century map of Plymouth Leat it is marked as Rowben Beacon.
The air photograph shows Saunders' map to be conventionalised. The inner enclosure, "The Keep", is not concentric with the outer rampart but lies to the east of its centre : within it appears to be two small circular enclosures with a rectangular enclosure against their north west sides. The "breastwork" appears to be earlier than the outer rampart and to have extended, formerly, to the west where there is a trace of a low bank. The "embanked trench" does not appear to extend beyond the road at SX 50676421.
A NNW-SSE linear group of seven cairns crossing a hillside south of the Afon Ceiriog. Coflein descriptions (NNW-SSE):
Graig Wea I (SJ23893757)
Graig Wea II (SJ23883745)
A rather irregular, sub-oval cairn, c.15.5m NW-SE by 14m, and 0.9m high, much disturbed.
A round cairn, c.8.2m in diameter and 0.8m high, slightly disturbed.Graig Wea III (SJ24053710)
One of a pair of round cairns found in close proximity (see also Graig Wea IV), c.20m in diameter, very much disturbed.Graig Wea IV (SJ24093711)
One of a pair of round cairns found in close proximity, c.13m in diameter and 0.6m high, disturbed.New Buildings I (SJ24323666)
One of a linear group of three cairns, c.11m in diameter and 0.7m high, ruined.New Buildings II (SJ24353660)
One of a linear group of three cairns, c.10m in diameter and 0.4m high.New Buildings III (SJ24403659)
One of a linear group of three cairns , c.12m in diameter and 1.3m high, disturbed.
Two barrows excavated in the 19th century, positioned on the summit of a hill overlooking the Gwendraeth estuary.
Two barrows, at SN40530897 (Dat Prn1394) and SN40750900 (Dat Prn1393), each c.75' in diameter and ploughed down to around 0.5m high.
Opened 1850 revealing possible mass cremation in the eastern barrow and an inhumation and separate cist in the western. Beaker fragments and a stone 'axe hammer' are reported from the barrows as a group.
This site has been recently (May 2013) cleared by the fine people of Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network (CASPN), leaving it easier to access and see than it has been for many years.
The site is listed in Craig Weatherhill's excellent "Belerion" (Alison Hodge 1981), with a plan. There is a main group of 8 buildings, together with a triangular enclosure that may have been a pound. A Bronze Age date has been ascribed to the simple circular houses, which raises the possibility that this was the home of the people who erected the wonderful Nine Maidens of Boskednan stone circle and the Men an Tol, both of which are on the moors nearby.
The Pastscape record for the site mentions the following feature inside the settlement:
One item which appears to be associated with this settlement is a natural boulder about 0.9m sqare and 0.5m above ground, with a circular depression 0.15m in diameter and depth, cut into the top. It looks very much like a mortar and is adjacent to the NE side of the hut circle at SW 42813443.
The barrow was excavated by William Copeland Borlase (great-great grandson of William Borlase):
Six miles west of Penzance on the brow of a hill on the right-hand side of the road leading to the Land's End, was an undisturbed cairn 38' in diameter, mounted on a pile of natural rocks, and surrounded by a ring of 16 large granite blocks set on edge.Under a large flat stone a kistvaen was revealed. 1'4" in breadth and 18" deep constructed of eight stones in two layers of four each. These side stones were purposely fitted closely round an urn, mouth downwards which was filled with bones and two chipped flints, two more of which were found outside the urn but within the kist.
On 21st Aug. 1868 the author proceeded with some miners to the spot, and caused an oblong trench to be sunk across the centre of the mound. About 18 inches from the surface was a pile of rocks, (the natural formation of the crest of the hill,) as will be seen on the accompanying plan.
The vessel, which had no bottom, was brownish and not well baked and was ornamented with the usual chevron pattern, placed horizontally. It had four pierced bosses or handles. The bones, probably of a woman were not so completely calcined as is usually the case.W.C. Borlase - Naenia Cornubiae (1872)
The sloping rock in the centre of the barrow was surrounded on all sides with ashes and charred wood; and beneath it, when raised, was nearly a cartload of ashes, as white and fresh as if a fire had scarcely been extinguished from them.
The plan can be seen here.
Two cairns on the rocky ridge of Cribarth. Coflein descriptions:
Northern cairn (SN82901443)
A cairn of limestone boulders is located at the north-east end of a ridge. It measures about 19.8m in diameter though its precise size is hard to determine because it merges with scree on the west and south west. Its height is about 1.8m on the north and east, and 3m on the south-west. A length of massive kerbing is visible on the south side of the cairn. It is composed of limestone blocks set drystone fashion (rather than earthfast) and is visible for 5.5m.
The mound has been generally disturbed.
Southern cairn (SN82831420)
A cairn of limestone boulders is located at the SW end of a ridge. It measures roughly 13.7m in diameter though its precise dimensions are hard to determine because much of the cairn mass has collapsed down the sides of the ridge, especially on the W. Much of the centre of the mound has been modified into a shelter. The overall height of the cairn is now c.2m on the NE, 1.2m elsewhere.
A trig pillar lies to the immediate S.
Aerial photo here.
Description from "A Guide To Ancient and Historic Wales - Glamorgan and Gwent" - Elisabeth Whittle (1992 HMSO):
This is a large oval ring cairn, consisting of a low stony bank with level ground inside it. On the north-east side there are traces of the original kerb on the inner face of the bank. There is an entrance to the south which may have been lined by upright slabs; three are still visible, leaning or fallen. A smaller entrance on the north-west still has one of its jamb stones in place. On the south-east of the interior is a small cist with three of its sides still intact. Three small holes to the north may indicate the position of upright stones, long since disappeared.
The book has a plan of the ring cairn.
Three cairns on the lip of the escarpment at the north of Hirwaun Common, enjoying extensive views of the mountains.
Twyn Canwyllyr (SN9375304253)
Small cairn of 2m diameter and only 0.2m high. Moss covered. Small stones. Placed on a ridge with extensive views N to Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains to NW.Pictures here.
A cairn on the summit of Craig-y-Bwlch on a ridge with extensive views north to the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. It is 10m in diameter and 1m high and flat in the centre where stones are exposed. A possible cist capstone is visible in the central hollow.Pictures here.
Tarren y Bwlch (SN94810337)
Tarren-y-Bwlch Cairn is a round barrow 8m in diameter and 1m high. In the centre is a hollow 2m in diameter and 0.5m deep. It is prominently sited on a ridge with extensive views northwards to the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains.Picture here.
Group of three cairns on Mynydd Ty'n-tyle, on the ridge between the valleys of Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach. Coflein descriptions (north-south):
Cefn-y-Rhondda Cairn III (SS99189644)
A centrally depressed stony mound, 7.0m in diameter and 0.5m high.Cefn-y-Rhondda Cairn II (SS99299631)
A denuded probable round cairn, although part of the 'kerb' on the west side appears to be bedrock. It is approximately 11m in diameter and up to 0.7m high on the west side and has an exposed slab in the centre. Set on a natural plateau, it has views across the other mountain tops but not to the valleys.Cefn-y-Rhondda Cairn I (SS99279629)
A round cairn, 5m in diameter and up to 0.5m high. It is grass covered and in the centre is a 1m square depression with a possible cist wall exposed. Set on a natural plateau, it has views across the other mountain tops but not to the valleys.
Pair of small cairns, possibly clearance rather than sepulchral, on Mynydd yr Eglwys, on the ridge between the valleys of Rhondda Fawr and Rhondda Fach.
Coflein descriptions (NE to SW):
Mynydd yr Eglwys Cairn II (SS98199640)
A small cairn, 4m diameter and 0.5m high, and one of a pair. It is grass-covered but there are stones visible. It is probably a clearance cairn.Mynydd yr Eglwys Cairn I (SS98159636)
A small cairn, 3m diameter and 0.5m high, and one of a pair. It is grass covered, but there are stones visible. It is probably a clearance cairn.
Pairs of cairns with disturbed cists on Tarren Maerdy, on the ridge between the valleys of Rhondda Fawr (to the south) and Rhondda Fach (north).
Tarren Maerdy Cairn I (SS97959720)
A round cairn approximately 9m diameter and 0.7m high. In the centre is a cist defined on three sides by pitched slabs, with smaller packing stones behind, 1.25 x 0.5m and 0.7m deep. The cairn is set back from the brow of the hill, and therefore there is no view to the valley below, only the hill opposite.Tarren Maerdy Cairn II (SS98049709)
A mound on the brow of a hill overlooking the Rhondda Fechan valley to the the north-east. It is approximately 4m in diameter and grass covered but with several boulders, including one pitched slab that possibly lined a cist.
According to Coflein, the "upper" stone is a whipping post fashioned from the remains of a wheel cross. Nice.
It was thought that the northern part of Cooper's Hill might be a promontory fort, but current views are that the "earthworks" are in fact quarry spoil. They do look quite earthwork-ish, so easy to see why this might have been thought. The whole area is a Scheduled Monument.
Various records at Pastscape here.
There is however a probable Iron Age cross-dyke, cutting across the neck of the summit ridge:
The cross-ridge dyke on Cooper's Hill is probably of Iron Age origin, and is the only clearly recognisable defensive or boundary earthwork on the hill. The bank is 18ft wide by 2ft. high, with a ditch on the south side about 2ft. deep and from 12 to 20ft wide. The dyke runs straight for a total length of 655ft, and ends to the east against the natural edge of the ridge.
The northern slope of the hill also plays host to the lunacy of the annual cheese-rolling. I've stood at the top of the slope, it'd take more than a bloody cheese to throw myself off there.
Two cairns in forestry, one very damaged, the other on the highest point of the hill (528m OD).
Bachgen Carreg (SS90819810)
A ruined circular cairn, 8.0m in diameter and 0.5m high, set on a parish boundary and bearing the name of a stone rather than that of a cairn.
Mynydd Blaengwynfi summit (SS90659737)
A circular, stony mound, 7.6m in diameter and 0.6m high, capped by an OS triangulation pillar.
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"The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body." Alfred Wainwright