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

Miscellaneous Posts by thesweetcheat

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Carn-y-Wiwer (Ynyshir) (Cairn(s))

Cairnfield of small cairns, presumably clearance cairns in the main.

Coflein/RCAHMW suggests it may be post Medieval, but Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust have assigned a Bronze Age date. The site is certainly very similar to other Bronze Age cairn-fields in South Wales.

There is one possible funerary cairn at ST0276794150, described by GGAT as:

"Cairn in Carn y Wiwer cairnfield. Roughly circular with flat top, much better marked than other cairns in the group. Edges grass-covered, but the top has been denuded of vegetation (probably through placing of black plastic on top) revealing a mass of small pieces of sandstone (0.1m) set in dark earth. Dimensions: 5.7m diameter, c0.3m high."

Darren (Crickhowell) (Ring Cairn)

Coflein description:
Well-preserved ring cairn c. 12.7m diam, composed of a bank of boulders c. 1.5m wide x 0.3m high. Sited on gently S-facing slope with principal view SW down Usk valley, c. 100m NE of prehistoric hut settlement. Largely turf and billberry covered

Nant yr Ychen (Round Cairn)

A cairn of uncertain age, but Coflein suggests it may be prehistoric:
Situated on the summit of the ridge above the Nant yr Ychen and the Grwyne Fechan. Stone built and roughly circular on plan, measuring about 8m in diameter and up to 0.5m in height. Probably a routemarker, but some stones eroding out of the vegetation suggest that it could be older than post medieval. The cairn has a deep hollow, presumably the result of antiquarian investigation or robbing. The resulting spoil now forms the walker's cairn that overlies the south-east side.
It didn't grab my attention as I passed it.

Morgan's Hill (eastern group) (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Group of round barrows on the eastern slopes of Morgan's Hill, running roughly parallel with the much later Wansdyke earthwork.

Only three of the multiple barrows listed on Pastscape and the six shown on the OS 1/25000 map are visible at ground level.

The OS 1/25000 shows two further barrows to the north, centred on SU034672, but these appear to have been ploughed out.

The Bryn (Cairn(s))

As well as the large cairn visited by Carl, there is a hard-to-find ring cairn to the NNW at ST13619105. Coflein has the following description:
Almost circular cairn rim on ground which slopes NW, thereby ruling out the possibility of it being a hut circle. There are a few large stones in the interior. condition=Near Destroyed

Ring cairn or robbed round cairn consisting of a ring bank 1.5m-2.8m wide and 0.4m high, 13.4m ext. diameter, with a break in the NW quadrant (1967). By 1979 the cairn was already enveloped in dense conifer plantation and by 1991 neither the ring cairn nor its neighbouring small mound could be reached.

Cwmeldeg (Cairn(s))

There are two cairns here. The northern one (ST10489223) is as described in Carl's fieldnote.

The southern one (ST10509215) is smaller. Coflein:
On open moorland, is a grass and bracken covered stony mound, diameter 7.0m, height 0.6m. A probable cairn. Discovered during field investigation (OS).

There is also a recumbent stone (natural?) lying a little to the north of the northern cairn, as the ground starts to slope away.

Carneddi Llwydion (Cairn(s))

Linear-ish group of cairns on the Senghenydd Ridge. Coflein descriptions for each (west-east):
Cairn A (ST10479193)
measures 9m diameter, 0.7m high on the SE, 0.1m on the NW. The centre has been dug out to ground level. Uncertainly a round barrow; if it is the location looks unusual.
Cairn B (ST105920)
measures 15.2m in diameter and 0.6m high. The ring-like perimeter measures 1.5m-1.8m wide, possibly an integral part of construction but possibly a feature of erosion.
Cairn C (ST10529204)
measures 17.1m in diameter and 0.9m high. The pronounced ring-like rim measures 2.1m-2.8m wide and 0.3m high.

Twyn-y-Gwynt (Chambered Tomb)

Coflein description of what may be a fortuitous natural stone setting, or something more exciting:
Two large earthfast slabs on north facing slopes of Twyn-y-gwynt, standing some 6ft tall. It is uncertain whether these represent natural outcropping rocks, or remnants of a deliberate prehistoric structure - perhaps a collapsed Neolithic burial chamber. Some 26m north-east are two large recumbent slabs, one partly grass covered, the other lying partly on top of it. These slabs give the appearance of a toppled prehistoric structure but again, the antiquity or origin of these slabs cannot be ascertained without further investigation. The sites were first noted and reported to the NMRW by Mr Graham J Oxlade, Pontypridd.

Twyn Hywel (Round Cairn)

Coflein has the following:
A centrally disturbed round cairn, 8.5m in diameter and 0.5m high.

Several tumuli on 'Eglwysilan Common' were opened in 1753, when a number of urns containing burnt bones were found in stone cists, condition=Damaged.

Pant Waungorrwg (Ring Cairn)

Coflein is somewhat non-commital on this site. The site type is "ring barrow?", the description refers to hut circles.

They have a picture, though:

Coed-Pen-Maen Common (Cist)

Not just a cist, but a cist in the centre of a cairn circle (or very denuded kerbed cairn). And exciting finds were found there.

Eight stones, up to 0.5m high, define a kerb circle, within which is a cist, 1.6m by 0.6m.
Excavation, in 1830, which recovered burnt bone and 'bronze buttons' is thought to have removed the body of the cairn.

Tor Glas (Round Cairn)

This cairn is not marked on O/S 1:25000 mapping which seems odd as it's on a path close to the Beacons Way path. It is however in an area rich with Bronze Age monuments, several of which (Upper Neuadd cairns, Cribyn) are intervisible with the cairn.

Coflein description:
A stone cairn on the steep west-facing slope of Tor Glas. It is roughly 6m in diameter and 0.50m high situated on a slight terrace. On the northwest side the cairn had a possible edge or kerb to it but grass covering the edges obscured the detail.

Castle Park (Enclosure)

Two closely-spaced earthworks alongside The Ridgeway, Norchard Beacon.

Coflein descriptions:

Castle Park (west) (SN07030030)
The N and E sides of a possible subrectangular hillslope enclosure, c.40m in extent. A terraced track has been associated with the site.
Castle Park (east) (SN0762000204)
1. Earthworks of two relict field boundaries, occurring in single current field, c.160m across: the S earthwork, a curvilinear SW-ESE bank/scarp set above ground falling to the N, corresponds to a boundary depicted on OS County series (1890); the more N feature appears to be an E-W scarp, or lynchet, not incompatible with irregularities n current field boundary.

2. Aerial photography on 11th Jan 2006 confirms that earthworks are remnants of a denuded hillfort or defended enclosure, with an inner, oval defended enclosure crossed by an east-west boundary and partly fossilised on its south-west side by a field boundary, and a wider-spreading arc of bank to the north, formerly describing an outer defended enclosure or annex. The remains are consistent with the place-name.

Norchard Beacon (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Group of four round barrows, near a couple of nearby defended enclosures, on the top of an west-east ridge alongside a road/track known as The Ridgeway. Somewhat crude excavation techniques were used...

Coflein descriptions of the barrow group (west-east):

Bier Hill IV (SN06980009)
One of four barrows upon Bier hill excavated 1851-1859 (see Nprn305116, 305117, 305119), 35m in diameter and 1.4m high, in which were found human bone, ashes and sherds of a cinerary urn.
Bier Hill III (SN07020010)
measures 26m in diameter and 1.6m high. In 1851 gunpowder was used to open a cist within the barrow, smashing a skeleton lying beneath the capstone.
Bier Hill II (SN07100009)
The smallest of four barrows upon Bier hill (see Nprn305115), 18m in diameter and 0.4m high, a 'food vessel' was recovered from the mound in 1851.
Bier Hill I (SN07280007)
27m in diameter and 1.6m high, BA pottery and flint chips were recovered in the 1850's. There are no indications that the mound has been used as a beacon.

Lydstep Mesolithic forest and footprints

Coflein information about the drowned forest and assorted footprints:
An extensive peat deposit which was uncovered by exceptionally high tides during the winter of 2009-10. In the surface of the deposit a number of footprints were visible, both of human and animal form. Many of the footprints were quite confused, suggesting that people were milling around on the edge of what would have been a wetland area bordering a lake or lagoon in the Bronze Age. Some distinct sets of tracks of human and animal origin were also determined. In particular, foot prints appearing to be of red deer were clearly recorded.

On 24th June 2010 the RCAHMW laser scanned the surface of the deposit in conjunction with Deri Jones and Associates, allowing a complete and objective recording of the extent of the deposit and footprints to be made.

Radiocarbon 14 dates suggest 6150+/-120BP, 5300+/-100BP (OXA-1378, OXA-1412), calibrated to 5400-4750 BC, 4350-3940BC. Artefacts recovered from the northen end of the beach include 36 flint tools from a level of '1ft deep in red clay drift' and the Lydstep pig. Contemporary sketches of the find from Tenby Museum show that a stone arrow head was found in the pig's shoulder. The surface of one part of the peat exposure was laser scanned by RCAHMW staff in 2011 working with staff and volunteers from Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

Coed-y-Gaer (Oswestry Rural) (Hillfort)

Pastscape info for this oval fort situated above the England/Wales border.

NB: The fort is inside a rifle range.

Pont Sarn-las (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Formerly an extensive settlement of at least 8 roundhouses, only three now remain. Finds indicate a continuation of occupation into the Roman period.

The name appears to translate as something like "Bridge of the blue causeway"(?)

Further details of the site at Coflein.

Gleann Meinich (Cairn(s))

A possible cairn lies in a very steep-sided valley. Canmore:
A cairn or a possible building (NOSAS site survey number 995) appears as a stone spread bounded by a straight edge along one side. A dyke previously recorded at this approximate location was not found.
Another nearby feature previously thought to be a burial cairn is now thought to be natural:
(NH 25689 53568) A natural feature previously thought to be a burial cairn forms a prominent landmark on the otherwise flat valley floor. There are two small buildings cut into its S side which are likely to be associated with the adjacent township
A third possible cairn lies to the WNW at NH 222 553.

Culaneilan (Cairn(s))

Cairn, cairnfield, hut circle and a nearby cist at Bruachaig.

Canmore details:

Culaneilan cairn (NH 0375 6258)
This cairn, which is situated on a terrace at the foot of a slope, measures 7.7m in diameter by 0.6m in height. Its perimeter is defined by a kerb of boulders.
On the sloping terrace to the N, there is a partly robbed hut-circle, measuring 8.5m in diameter within a stone-faced bank about 1.3m in thickness and 0.4m in height. It is robbed of stone on the E and a gap has been cut through on the W.
Culaneilan settlement (NH 0371 6255)
This hut-circle, which lies to the N of a burn on moss-covered terrace, measures 9m in diameter within a wall of boulders 1.5m in thickness. There is an entrance on the SE marked by a dip in the bank and two external boulders set about 2m apart. The hut-circle is surrounded by sinuous stony dykes and small cairns.
Bruachaig cist (NH 0400 6219)
A short cist, containing a beaker was found in July 1898 at Bruchaig, Kinlochewe. The two flags covering the cist were at ground level.

Mrs. MacKenzie of Gairloch has lent the beaker to the National Museum - L.1963, 29. Other short cist burials seem to have been found in the district as Dixon records that " ancient burial-place was discovered some years ago at Bruchaig... where the bodies had been buried in a doubled-up position."

Mrs. MacKenzie confirmed the position of the cist at Bruchaig, which is now in ruins. Nothing is now visible at the spot nor have further burials been found.

A stone ball was found in or around this site, and appears to have been kept by Mr MacKenzie's nephew, Roderick, at his house. The ball was handed to Gairloch Heritage Museum after Roderick's death circa 1986.

Achnasheen (Cist)

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)
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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

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