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

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Faenor Gaer (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Visited 15.4.14

From Narberth take the B4313 north. The site is close the road on the eastern side, a little way past Pont-shan. It is just about visible from the road.

There is a newly laid tarmac track which leads from the metal field gate towards the site. I hopped over and strolled up the track – only a short distance. The first thing you notice is the old quarrying into the side of the slope which is now home to several storage containers. The path then continues around to the left and onto the actual enclosure, which was home to a herd of cows.

Unfortunately, there was a farmer in a tractor in the next field so I felt uncomfortable exploring the site as much as I would have wished. There is no public right of way to the site. I had to settle for a view from the edge of the storage area (which kept me out of sight of the farmer). I could just make out a low grass single bank – about 0.5m high.

Not a lot to see here although the views are pretty good.

COFLEIN states:
‘The earthworks of an oval enclosure at Faenor Gaer, Llawhaden, are defined by generally concentric banked and ditched circuits, about 95m and 126m north-east to south-west by 65m and 100m respectively. It is set on the butt of a south facing ridge, or spur, having a north-east facing entrance. Indications of occupation have been observed in the interior, where 'burnt earth and daub' were observed after ploughing in 1960’.

Bryn Dwyrain (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 15.4.14

To the north-east of Narberth on the A40, take the A478 north. Then take the first turning on the right. The Barrow is next to the house on the right about 1.5 miles along this lane. You can’t miss it – it’s the only house!

Not much to report – a long grass ‘bump’ in a field.

Not one to recommend.

COFLEIN states:
‘A ploughed-down round barrow 34m in diameter and 0.9m high’

St Canna's Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Fieldnotes

Visited 15.4.14

Take the minor road north out of Whitland. Drive through Cwmfelin Boeth and then take the first turning on the left. Continue straight on at the junction. At the point the tarmac road turns to gravel is a house on the right – park here.
Opposite the house is a gated entrance to a dilapidated church. Walk down the overgrown path and just before you reach the graveyard St Canna’s Stone can be seen on the other side of a barbed wire fence on your left.

Karen didn’t feel comfortable parking outside the house but I assured her it would be ok. I undid the rope tying the gate closed and looked around for the stone. After an initial unsuccessful search around the graveyard I spotted the stone in the field next to the church. It is just the other side of a barbed wire fence; keeping in a flock of sheep and their lambs.

The stone is small (not much of a chair!) and it appears to have been turned around since the photo was taken. It was a bright, sunny day and I was unable to make out the engraved name on the stone. It really isn’t much to look at.

At this point I noticed a lady coming out of the house and going over to Karen who was still sat in the car. I headed back in case there was any ‘bother’. There was no need for concern as the lady was very pleasant and it turned out that she owned the field where the stone / sheep / lambs were. She informed me that she knew about the stone and that many lambs had been born next to it as it is in a sheltered spot. She said that she originally came from Maenclochog to the north. I told her that I had been there whilst visiting the nearby Gors Fawr stone circle. She seemed impressed!

I said that it was a shame that the old church had been neglected (I tried to have a look around inside but it was locked) She said that someone had bought it in 2000 to turn into a home but has never visited it since! She added that now only one old lady visited the church to tend the grave of a relative. I found it sad that such a fine church / graveyard could be neglected in such a way. It would make a fine home and afford good views. The Preseli Mountains could be seen in the distance.

I am glad I visited this site although in all honesty the stone isn’t much to look at.
Perhaps if you happen to be in the area and have some spare time it may be worth a look?

Hangstone Davey (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 15.4.14

From Haverfordwest take the B4341 west. After a couple of miles the stone can be found next to the road on the left. It is just before a house called Lamber Forge.

Although it being mid week and on a B road, the road was very busy and parking difficult. Karen parked outside the large wooden gate, opposite a house, and I carefully made my way back along the road towards the stone.

The stone is a little less than 1m high. It looks old. It is covered in moss and patches of white lichen. Ivy is starting to grow over the top of it.

I have doubts about the folklore regarding the ‘hanging by sheep’ as I have visited another stone in the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire area (I can’t remember the name) with exactly the same story attached to it. Bit of a coincidence I think!

Worth a quick look if you happen to be in the area but take care with the speeding cars.

Carreg Maen Taro (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.4.14

From Blaenavon take the B4246 north towards Abergavenny. When you reach the top of the mountain you will see a lake and car park on your right. Directly opposite there is a road to the left – turn here. Drive down the road and after about 1 mile you will see a pub on your right (Lamb and Fox) and a rough car park opposite – park here. From the car park walk up the track until it splits into several ‘tracks’. The track leading to the highest ground (above the workings) and the stone can be seen in the distance to your right. The walk only takes about 15 minutes.

It was a quiet day in work and the chance was to be had for an early finish.
I would have been a ‘fool’ not to take advantage of the opportunity!

It was a warm, sunny day as I drove up through the World Heritage Site of Blaenavon and out onto the open mountainside. There were a couple of ‘likely lads’ hanging around the car park so I made sure the car was locked as I headed out onto the hillside. Judging by the amount of fresh lorry tyre tracks I saw this area is still being used for some reason or other?

Now, I often refer to these moorland sites as bleak. But there are two types of bleak; bleak in a nice way i.e. the Brecon Beacons or bleak in a horrible way i.e. old industrial area (South Wales Valleys). Unfortunately this site falls into the latter category – unless industrial history happens to be your thing of course.

Carreg Maen Taro is about 1 metre tall and the ‘M’ + ‘B’ markings are obvious. The stone is covered in lichen of various shades of green. There are many large stones scattered around the base of the stone.

I then walked over to the nearby fallen stone which made a handy place to sit and write these notes. Oddly enough this stone was covered in white lichen.

All was quiet here except for birdsong – which is always nice. The only company I had were a few scraggy sheep and a lone horse in the distance. The sun was warm with only a slight breeze. The views would have been very good had it not been for the haze, although the Sugar Loaf and the Blorenge were easy to make out. I sat a while and was well with the world. It was certainly better than being in work!

On the way back to the car I managed to collect a bag of horse manure for the vegetable patch – always a bonus!

This is an easy site to visit and worth the effort if you happen to be in Blaenavon visiting the famous iron works.

Pleasant View (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

North east of the Barrow at Crosshands – about 1 mile away.

The O/S map shows three Barrows at the crossroads.

Two of which are shown at the back of farm buildings – which I couldn’t see.
The third is in a field on the other side of the lane – seen as a grass ‘bump’.

COFLEIN states:
‘One of four barrows laid out along the summit of an east-west ridge. A circular mound about 22m in diameter and 0.4m high. Excavation produced evidence for a primary, uncontained cremation deposit and a secondary inurned cremation’.

Cross Hands (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

On the western side of the crossroads at Crosshands.

Two Barrows marked on the map – both no more than grass covered ‘bumps’.

COFLEIN has these named as the southern and northern tumuli.

COFLEIN states:
Southern – ‘A mutilated round barrow, 17m in diameter by 0.5m high, bisected by a garden hedge. When excavated two BA inurned cremations were recorded’.
Northern – ‘A ploughed down round barrow, 16m in diameter by .05m high. A central inurned cremation, set within a small cist-structure was recorded in excavations’.

Cefn Brafle (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Failed visit 19.3.14

On the eastern side of the crossroads at Crosshands.
You will need an O/S map to find this place!

I parked up on the grass verge at the back of the house and tried to spot the stones – I couldn’t.

I then decided to hop over the metal gate giving access to the field at the back of the house for a closer look. At this point 2 or 3 dogs came running out of the house and barked noisily at me. Although I doubt they could have got out of the garden they were making so much noise that it was only a matter of time before someone came to see what was happening.

I don’t know who the field belonged to but as there is no public access I decided it was not worth it. One for next time perhaps?

Crug Bach (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

South-East of the hamlet of Glandwr - through unsignposted country lanes.
O/S map required.

A grass ‘bump’ in a field.

Not worth the effort of finding it.

COFLEIN states:
‘A sub-circular mound, 18m in diameter and 1.2m high, truncated by a current road on the NE’.

Glandwr Churchyard (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

From the A40 take the A478 north towards Cardigan. The hamlet of Glandwr can be found a short distance to the east about half way to Cardigan. Signposted.

I was starting to run out of time and I was sorely tempted to re-visit the Gors Fawr stone circle but I knew I didn’t have time to do both. In the end I decided that it was better to go somewhere new rather than somewhere I had already been – this being my usual maxim in life.

I like an old attractive church – this isn’t one – far too modern for my taste. Not that I had come this far to specifically look at the church anyway of course.

The stone is not next to the church but next to
(I think) the church hall- to the right of the gate into the church yard – can’t miss it.

The stone is about 1.5m high and the Ogham markings can be seen but are not very clear. In all honesty if I didn’t know they were there I would have probably missed them.
Perhaps it wasn’t the best light to see them in.

The stone itself is quite ordinary but of course it’s not very often you get the chance to see Ogham so for that reason alone it is worth the trip.

Bwlch Y Seiri (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

The minor road running south from the main A40 to the village of Llangynog passes right past this site (on the left). You can park at the entrance to Pen Lan Farm and a metal field gate directly opposite gives access.

There is little to see; other than obvious undulations under the grass.

There is another enclosure a little to the south east which I didn’t look at.

COFLEIN states:
‘Bwlch-y-Seiri is an oval enclosure, about 56m east-west by 44m, defined by a bank, ditch and counterscarp, having a circular ditched mound, about 30m in diameter immediately adjacent on the west, the whole occupying the nub of a west facing spur’.

Castell Y Gaer (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

A view from a lay-by 19.3.14

Just north of the A40 – to the west of the B4298.

There is a convenient lay-by immediately to the east of the Hillfort although there does not appear to be any access to the field from here. There is no public right of way to the Hillfort.
I therefore chose to view from afar.

From the lay-by you could easily see the contours of the Hillfort on the grass covered hill.

COFLEIN states:
‘Castell-Y-Gaer is a sub-rectangular enclosure, measuring 108m by 74m, having a NE facing entrance, overlies an oval hilltop enclosure, 240m by 130m, resting on its circuit on the NW & W, both circuits being defined by counter scarps’.

Meini Llwydion (Llangynog) (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

A sort distance west of Meini Llwydion (Llangynog) standing stones at SN31201402.
In a field opposite the turning to the right (north).

The O/S map shows a footpath opposite the turning leading right to the stone.
In reality the footpath doesn’t exist and you are actually confronted by a double barbed wire fence and hedge.

I managed to get over the fence/hedge (not easy) and started to head south to the stone. It soon became apparent that the field is little more than a bog with no chance of crossing unless you were wearing wellies – which I wasn’t! No wonder there were no animals or crops in these fields, just lots of ‘spiky’ grass.

I retraced my steps and headed back to the road.

I thought I was going to miss out on this stone but I was able to view it, from afar, from the edge of the field housing the nearby Meini Llwydion stones. Look across the fields, under the power cables, for a large ‘boulder type’ stone lying near a hedgerow.

I don’t think I missed much.

COFLEIN doesn’t have much to say either:
‘The O/S 1st edition 1’’ map depicts two stones; there remains only one, suggesting a stone pair’

Maen Melyn (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

A short distance east of the village of Llanybri, north of the B4312.

I am pleased to report that I managed to find the stone, although it is easy to see how such a large stone can be missed.

At the crossroads is a small triangular area of rough ground – parking easy. Walk across (west) to the high hedgerow. Follow this hedgerow until you see the stone. At this time of year it was fairly easy but in the summer it would be tricky. You certainly wouldn’t see it if you weren’t specifically looking for it.

The stone is large – about 7 feet high by 3 feet across. The stone is covered in moss and the top section is also covered in ivy. It sits right in the middle of the hedgerow and is next to a tree.
It does a very good job of hiding itself!

I don’t know why this stone is called Maen Melyn (yellow stone) when it looked to me to me to be made of red sandstone?!

This is a cracking stone to seek out and access to it is very easy. Spotting it is the tricky thing!

Well worth the effort.

Castell Cogan (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

To the east of the Meini Llwydion (Llangynog) standing stones.
From the stones take the lane south-east. At the crossroads turn left up a steep hill.
The enclosure is easy to spot on the right. You can park on the grass verge.

A gate gives access to the site and a sign requests that visitors stick to the path – although there is actually no path so see. I therefore headed directly to the enclosure.

This is a pretty good place to visit. The single ditch / rampart is about 1.5m high.
The banks are covered in brambles and gorse but at this time of year it wasn’t too bad. A trig point sits on top of the bank. What appears to be the entrance is at the north-east. There are good views to be had out towards the estuary.

The wind was cold with drizzle in the air. A complete contrast to the weather last week when I was in the area. Perhaps spring hasn’t sprung after all?

This is an easy site to visit and worth the effort when in the area.

COFLEIN states:
‘A sub-oval enclosure about 86m north-east to south-west by 76m, defined by a double banks and ditches, set upon a prominent ridge-top knoll and resting on steep slopes to the east. On the gentler slopes to the west a possible outer line of ramparts may define an enclosure roughly 128m across. Two circular structures within the enclosure produced some ceramic material thought to be later prehistoric in date’.

Nolais (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

South-East from Crug Bach – along a narrow country lane.
O/S map recommended.

I large grass covered mound the other side of the bank/hedgerow.
You can’t see it from the road but you can from the top of the bank.
It’s western side has been cut through by the hedge / road.

One for the keen only.

COFLEIN states:
‘A round barrow truncated by a lane, 70’ in diameter and 5’ 6’’ high. Two cremations have been found , the first represented by ashes covered by two quartz stones, the second, thought to be primary, being inurned but cist-less’.

Myrddins Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

As described by Postie.
There is room to park on the road (where it widens) a bit up the hill from the start of the footpath; which is next to a house and is signposted.

I walked down the hill to the house and headed east through the fields trying to find/follow the permissive footpath. I don’t know how successful I was as it was hard to tell which was the ‘path’!
The important thing is that before too long I spotted the stones near a hedgerow / trees.

The information board is still there but it has been pulled out of the ground and is now propped up against a gate.

Two nice stones although it is a great pity that the rest of the burial chamber has been removed at some point in antiquity.

Worth the short but muddy walk when in the area

Meini Llwydion (Llwyn Du) (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

The road running past the Dolmen is very busy with no parking spots. The best thing to do is leave the car where you parked it for Myrddins Quoit and walk to the site. Walk up the hill to the main road, turn right and look for the first metal field gate on the left. Over the gate and walk directly across the field – look for a concrete water trough with a gate next to it. Over the trough and the stones are easily seen ahead of you.

Have you ever been to a site where you seem to be ‘drawn’ to it?
From the road you can’t see the stones and I didn’t know which way to go. But for some reason it ‘felt’ like the stones were the way I went and sure enough they were!
I can’t offer any logical explanation for this but that’s how it was.

The information board is still there although very weathered and worn.

Three standing stones remain – all leaning. Two smaller boulders lay next to the stone leaning the most – don’t know how long it will be before it falls down?

The stones are made up of the same material as the nearby Myrddins Quoit stones – ‘pudding stone’?

It’s a pity the capstone is missing. I sat a while to write these notes and thought about all the changes which have occurred since the Dolmen was first constructed. Although the cold wind was starting to bite it was a peaceful spot with birdsong in the distance.

This is a good place to come and well worth a ‘double visit’ with Myrddins Quoit.

Meini Llwydion (Llangynog) (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

West of the village of Llanybri, along narrow country lanes.
O/S map recommended.

I parked on the grass verge by the field gate and quickly climbed over. The stones are not visible from the road but soon come into view as you walk across the bogy field.

The stones were a lot bigger than I expected and a lot easier to find.

Well worth a look if you happen to be out this way.

If you come when it is wet – bring your wellies!

Twlc y Filiast (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited 19.3.14

Drive south through the village of Llangynog and you will come to a recycling area on your right. This is a large concreted area with several recycling bins for glass, clothes etc. There is plenty of room to park next to the bins. Follow the stepped path down towards the water works but bear right towards the bridge. From the bridge (at this time of year) you can see the Dolmen in the trees to your right – 3 minute easy walk.

The rusty gate at the end of the bridge which should give you access to the wood/Dolmen was padlocked shut. You are therefore left with the option of either climbing over a small barbed wire fence or over the wooden hand rail of the bridge. Neither of which are difficult to do.

I walked over to the Dolmen and sat quietly.
It is a very peaceful place at 8.30am with just the sound of the nearby stream and bird song for company. The Dolmen, surrounding tree trunks and boulders are all covered in a thick layer of moss - dry and soft to the touch – very tactile.

Although the Dolmen is quite small it is in good condition and the capstone is surprisingly thick, supported by 2 upright stones. One large and several small pieces of quartz had been placed under the capstone. More strange were (what appeared to be) the animal teeth which I assume were left as ‘offerings’?

It had been an early start and a 2 hour drive to get here. Was it worth it – absolutely!
I sat quietly, admiring the location and contemplated how wonderful it was that this place had survived the millennia.

Peace was shattered bang on 9.00am when the roar of vehicles could be heard from the adjacent quarry (thankfully not visible from the Dolmen due to the trees).
Time to go……………

If you ever happen to be in this part of the world, please make the effort to visit this site. It is easy to access and well worth it. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. This is one of those places that allow you to re-charge the soul.

Redstone Cross (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

‘Drive by’ 12.3.14

North of Narbeth, where the A40 disects the B4313.
In a field to the east of the junction on the northern side

Time (yet again) was against us so I had to settle for a ‘drive by’.

A Barrow could be seen in the field as the usual grass covered ‘bump’.

I don’t suppose I missed much compared with a ‘proper’ visit?

COFLEIN states:
‘One of two barrows, 34m in diameter & 1.1m high, a second barrow lying immediately to the E’.

The Tumps (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From Haverfordwest take the B4329 north. After about two miles you will drive past/through Poyston Cross. The Barrows are about one mile further along the road on your left hand side.

This is a busy road although it is possible to pull in at the metal gate which gives access to the field where the Barrows reside. There was livestock in the field so I settled for a view from the gate. It is no more than a long, low grass covered mound – you know the type I mean!

COFLEIN states:
‘One of two barrows known collectively as ‘the tumps’, 26m in diameter and 1.2m high, this barrow shows signs of having been dug into and is clipped to the NE. The other barrow is 112m to the west. It is 29m in diameter and 1m high. It has also been dug into’.

Newhouse (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From Parc y Garreg standing stone continue along the road east. The Barrows are in a field on the left immediately after the turning. You can park at the entrance to the farm drive opposite.

The Barrow is visible from the field gate as a low garss covered ‘bump’.

COFLEIN states:
‘One of three Barrows 30m in diameter and 1.4m high’.

Parc y Garreg (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From Narbeth take the B4314 south-east. Continue south towards Ludchurch but take the turning left (east) at the crossroads just before you get to Ludchurch. The standing stone is about 1 mile along this minor road on your left. As with most other sites in this part of the world the stobe can’t be seen from the road due to the high bank/hedgerow. It can be seen from the top of the bank.

Since the previous TMAers visits there has been some serious changes to the site. There is currently a road being built right through the field in a north-south direction before turning parallel to the road (other side of hedgerow). There is a lot of construction work being undertaken.

I therefore had to settle for a view from the top of the bank.

On a more positive note the road isn’t right next to the stone so (other than spoiling the setting) shouldn’t pose any threat.

The stone looked pretty bathed in the evening sunlight.

Parc y Llyn (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From Garn Turne Burial Chamber head back the way you came (east) to the crossroads and turn right (south). Take the first right (west) and you will shortly see bridleway signs pointing either side of the road. You can pull in (just) next to the bridleway sign on the left. Follow this bridleway (south) and you will soon spot Parc y Llyn on the far side of the field on your left.

The bridleway was extremely muddy and my boots sank deep into the mire. It is only a short walk (via a metal gate) and then a not-quite-so-muddy walk across the field.

The capstone has collapsed down into the chamber although it appears most of the main stones are still present? The rear of the chamber backs onto a hedgerow.
I thought the stones forming the back of the chamber were (although small) well preserved and quite impressive.

Although this is probably the least impressive of the trilogy of Burial Chambers I have visited today it certainly warrants a visit when in the area. After all, the tombs are so close together (within a radius of about 1 mile) it makes perfect sense to visit all three at the same time.

Pembrokeshire is a wonderful part of the world and brimming with prehistoric sites of all description.
I shall have to make the effort to come here more often.

Garn Turne (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From The Altar Burial Chamber continue along the minor road south and turn left at the crossroads. Despite the high hedgerows you will soon spot Garn Turne Rocks on your right. There is just about room to pull over in a passing place. It is only about one mile south of The Altar Burial Chamber.

There was no obvious, convenient entry point into the field but given the time of year I was just about able to squeeze through the hedge – not recommended! Garn Turne Rocks and associated Burial Chamber are only a short walk away up an incline.

This is one of those sites where it is pretty obvious to see why the location was selected for building a chamber. Garn Turne Rocks dominate the surrounding area and (presumably) this would have been a special place in times past?
On a day like today you can see for miles in every direction.

The Burial Chamber has totally collapsed and there are several large stones scattered about. The capstone is massive, one of the biggest I have seen.

The farmer who had seen me earlier at The Altar Burial chamber was now muck spreading in the field opposite (what are the chances?) so I decided against climbing on top of the Garn Turne outcrop. After all, there is (technically) no public right of way to the site/rocks. In hindsight I wish I had gone with my gut instinct and ignored him – something I intend to correct in a future re-visit.

This was site two in my trilogy visit of Burial Chambers for today and (despite the collapse) they don’t come much better than this.

Well worth a visit but try to find a more sensible point of access.
Perhaps via the drive leading to the farm?

The Altar (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12.3.14

From Wolf’s Castle on the main A40 follow the signs east for Little Newcastle. After stopping to look at the memorial stone on the village green to ‘Black Bart’ the famous pirate who was born here, take the minor road south. You will shortly pass a church on your right and cross over a river. As the road starts to climb you will see the drive to Whitehall Farm on your right. There is room to squeeze in here. Opposite is a metal field gate. Over the gate and follow the bank/hedgerow up the hill. The Burial Chamber will soon come into view; although largely hidden by the hedge.

It was a beautiful spring day. Not a cloud in the sky, no wind and warm sunshine.
The scenery as we drove across the bridge was one of the best I have seen. The woodland was carpeted in snow drops; an old, moss covered stone bridge spanned the babbling river – it really was a beautiful sight. Pity Karen had left her camera at home!

As regards to the Burial Chamber (I am sure of more interest to you) it was a muddy walk up the edge of the field. Although the bank/hedge/road appears to have cut the chamber in half it doesn’t overly spoil the site. A reasonably chunky capstone is supported by (I think) three uprights. Two at the front and a smaller one at the back.

Someone had left a small ‘offering’ of sea shells under the capstone. There are decent views to the east. It’s a great pity that the farmer decided that one of the supporting uprights would make a good place to wrap his barbed wire around when fencing in the field. Why he/she thought that in addition to the large bank/hedge a barbed wire fence was also required I don’t know. It is a common feature in this part of the world.

As others have said, the chamber is not visible from the road so you will have to walk into the field to have a look. The bush in front of one of the photos is thankfully no longer there.
A small amount of effort which is well rewarded.

I was spotted by a farmer driving a tractor jumping back over the gate but he didn’t stop or say anything!

Well worth a visit when in the area.

Arthur's Stone (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.3.14

This is one of those sites that I have wanted to re-visit for a number of years. The last time I came here it was one of the first sites that myself and Karen visited together. She was new to driving down the narrow country lanes that we all know and love and it was terrible day weather wise. The rain was pouring and the road resembled a river as the water poured down the hill. In fact, part of the road was completely flooded. To be fair to Karen she stuck at it (and has done ever since!) and here we are, years later, for another visit.

This time the weather was much more kind. Warm, no wind although hill mist had descended on the peaks opposite. Unsurprisingly there was no-one else at the burial chamber and it was pretty much as I remembered it. One thing I had forgotten was how large the capstone is – it’s massive – despite being broken in two. I peered underneath it and noticed that someone had put a blue ribbon around one of the supporting stones.

The last time I visited, due to the weather, I wasn’t able to appreciate the tomb’s location. This time I was able to stand and admire the view out across the valley. It really is splendid. It is no surprise they built their burial chamber here – wonderful.

This is a site that I am sure I will return to again one day. Hopefully next time I will have more time to sit and contemplate. Unfortunately on this occasion the children were due to finish school so it was time to head home…………

If you every get the chance to visit this E.H. site please do.
You won’t be disappointed.

Llanveynoe Crucifix Stone (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.3.14

The tiny Llanveynoe isn’t even on my AA map so it is a lot easier to find if you have an O/S map! The best advice I can give is to follow the signs for Longtown (home of a pretty ruined castle – E.H. site) then take the minor road north. Llanveynoe is about 2 miles along this road; the church is easily seen on the left of the road.

For Christmas I was given the book ‘The Early Medieval Church in Wales’ by David Petts. Not the sort of book I would have bought myself but as it was a present I eventually got around to looking through it. One picture that jumped out at me was of the ‘Crucifix Stone’, embedded into the inside wall of the church.

David Petts states that the inscribed figure of Christ is on the flat surface of a stone which also has prehistoric cup and ring marks on it. Other sources state that the cup and ring marks are in fact natural and not man made. I wanted to see for myself.

The church is very pretty and sits on the side of a valley. The views along the valley are wonderful and that alone made the trek here worthwhile. I was very pleased to find that the church was unlocked and I let myself in. The inscribed stone has been built into the wall on the right and is easy to spot, as were the possible cup and ring marks – there are about a dozen of them.

I am no rock art expert and certainly no cup and ring expert but I have seen my fair share over the years. To my untrained eye they appeared natural although they do certainly look like small cup and ring marks. However, if they are natural I wonder why this stone was used to carve the figure on? Why not use and ‘unblemished’ stone? Was this stone specifically used because of the ‘cup and ring’ marks?

I picked up a leaflet in the church which gives a brief history of the church. I found this bit particularly interesting:
‘The church is believed to have been founded by St Beuno (c600AD). The remains of the ‘llan’ below the west wall of the churchyard may have been where the original church stood. Two ancient stones, including the ‘Crucifix Stone,’ were found on the slope west of the church in 1860 and 1888’.

Although not religious, I love old churches in picturesque settings. If they have any prehistoric connections all the better. It was therefore no hardship for me to visit Llanveynoe (although Karen may disagree as she was driving!) I would certainly recommend a visit if you happen to be this way. Have a look at the stone, draw your own conclusions – man made or natural?

King Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.3.14

The ‘road’ leading to Glibes Farm is very rough and the car’s suspension had a good workout. The tall standing stone was easy enough to spot in a field on the left.

The sign asking you to keep the gate closed due to livestock (fair enough) is still there and there is now a second sign requesting that trekkers stay to the track (also fair enough). I slid the gate bolt open, squelched through the mud and was soon at the stone.

This is a fine stone with pretty coloured lichen on its surface. There are decent views to be had. Well worth a visit when in the area.

Gannols Farm (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.3.14

If driving north-west along the B4348 out of Dorstone, the stone is next to a metal field gate on the left. It is just about possible to squeeze in next to the field gate but be careful as this road is very busy and the locals don’t hang about!

At this time of year the stone was easy to access although it was covered by a thick coating of moss. (a lot of growth since Baza's photo)

Although I couldn’t see any obvious cup mark I felt through the moss and am pretty sure I felt it near to the ground on the side of the stone facing the road.

Due to the proximity of the fast passing cars I didn’t hang around long.

Nant Maden (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

From Pendaryn take the minor road east sign posted Cwm Cadlam You will shortly come to a house on the left with a fence surrounding the field at its front. The Cairn is easily spotted the other side of the fence.

I didn’t see any advantage of going to the house to ask permission to visit the Cairn as it is easily seen from the road. The Cairn is a large mound of grey stones (very similar to the other Barrows/Cairns along this road further east).

The one difference on this site is that there is a large stone is standing on top of the Cairn. I wonder if this is the capstone referred to in the COFLEIN report?

Well worth a view when visiting the other sites along the quiet road.

COFLEIN states:
‘In a uniformly south-sloping field lies a large turfed-over cairn extensively damaged by excavation. It measures about 15m in diameter and 1.5m high and is composed mainly of sandstone medium-sized rubble and small boulders. The cairn is surrounded by a roughly 17.5m diameter kerb of mostly quartz conglomerate boulders measuring up to 1.2m long and 0.7m high.
The cairn was excavated in 1959-60 and found to have affinities with a nearby cairn (nprn 84641) which was also excavated.
A D-shaped enclosure, set within a massive kerb, contained a rectangular pit covered by a capstone but without significant deposit. Beaker sherds, secondary cremations with sherds of Overhanging Rim urns, food vessel sherds and flint implements were also recovered’

Cefn Sychbant (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

Visited 16.2.14

The remains of this Barrow (it looks like a Cairn) is a short distance south of Cefn Sychbant Ring Cairn.

It is only a short walk from the road – easily spotted.

The Barrow is quite large, approximately 20m across x 1.5m high. In essence a mound of grey stones.

Worth the short walk from the road if you ever find yourself in this pretty part of the Brecon Beacons.

Twyn Bryn Glas (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 16.2.14

From Pendaryn take the minor road east sign posted Cwm Cadlam. Keep going until you come to the end of the open moorland and you see trees on both sides of the road (a stone wall surrounds the trees). You will see a road warning sign – cattle grid – park on the verge near the sign. Follow the trees on your left up hill. When the trees turn to the right, head for the high ground on your left. Once at the highest point have a rummage around and you should fairly easily spot the cairn.

Karen stayed in the car with the children who were both (thankfully) asleep. It took about 10 minutes to get to / find the cairn. There is a lot of stone sticking out of the grass here and there would have been no shortage of material for the Cairn builders.

I sat on top of the Cairn for a while and admired the views north towards the higher peaks of the Brecon Beacons – the tops of which were powdered with snow. The sun was shining (for a change) and there was only the slightest of wind. You don’t very often get this type of weather up here but when you do the Beacons are a fantastic place to visit.

The site has a remote and bleak feel about it (in a nice sort of way!) but the feeling of solitude you get when visiting such places is something to savour. The madness of the ‘normal’ world seems a very long way away. Speaking of which, it was time to head back down the hill and the car and the world beyond.

This is a site I would recommend for the enthusiast only as you pass two very similar Cairns (which can be seen closer to the road) on the way here. The one advantage this Cairn does have however is that here you cannot see the road and therefore it has a more ‘remote’ feel.

COFLEIN states:
'Located in a sadle surrounded by low hills is a round cairn measuring 9.8m in diameter and 0.8m high.
The cairn was excavated in the 1950s when the the mound was found to contain a boat-shaped enclosure within which was a disturbed primary burial associated with Overhanging Rim urn fragments'.

Cefn Sychbant (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 16.2.14

This is the more northern of the two nearby cairns and is much more ruined.

A few large stones are in and around the centre of the Cairn.

Again, it is easily spotted from the road and worth the short walk.

COFLEIN states:
'A badly robbed cairn survives in the form of a grass-grown stony ring bank 0.3m high, 1.2m wide and with an external diameter of about 10.5 to 11.5m. There is slight evidence for an inner kerb of larger stones.

In the 1950s 'a wrecked central cist' revealed a sandstone disk 4cm in diameter and 1cm thick, now in the National Museum (1).'

Maen Llia (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 16.2.14

Good news – the ‘smiley face’ and sprayed graffiti on the other side of the stone has now been removed.

The only graffiti I could now see were the chiselled names/dates of over 150 years ago – which doesn’t seem so bad.

This great old stone is now back looking at its best.

Hats off to CADW for their efforts.

British Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.2.14

After spending an enjoyable (if wet) afternoon in Great Malvern (Valentine treat!) it was time to head home but not before (of course) taking the opportunity of visiting a prehistoric site.

On this occasion it was time to visit the famous British Camp – last stand (possibly) of the even more famous Caradoc / Caractacus.

There is a handy car park (Pay and Display with information boards) on the A4104 and concrete paths running right up to the top of the Hillfort. The steeper sections are stepped.
The site is sign posted.

I made my way up alone as Karen has decided it was much more sensible to stay in the car. Luckily the rain had stopped although it was still quite windy. Despite the less than ideal weather you could still see for miles. On a good day the views must be fantastic. Flooded fields were easily seen in the distance. On a day like today it was not surprising to find that we were the only car parked in the car park and I was the only one visiting the Hillfort.

I knew I wouldn’t have time to walk around the full circumference of the site so decided I would make my way to the highest point and view the surroundings from there.

The Hillfort’s defences are certainly impressive – some of the best I have seen. The information stone on the way up states that this is one of the best preserved Hillforts in the country – I wouldn’t disagree. The outer ramparts are several metres high and the inner ramparts even higher and pronounced, although this may have been due to the later medieval ‘modifications’?

So far so good. It then all started to go horribly wrong!

As I got about three quarters of the way up I was engulfed in mist/cloud and the visibility dropped to about 20 metres. Not only that but the wind increased to near gale force and to add insult to injury, it started to hail. It was difficult to stand and it felt like I was being sand-blasted by the hail. I nearly turned around but decided to push on to the summit. The higher I went the worse it got. The temperature dropped and I could feel my lungs getting colder, Due to the coldness and strength of the wind I was finding it quite difficult to breath. I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

I finally reached the top but could see little. I am sure that on a nice day the British Camp is somewhere you could easily spend several hours (paths also run around the top of the ramparts) but certainly not today. I quickly turned around and made my way back down the hill to the safety of the car. As on the way up, when I reached the lower outer defences, the wind eased and I was once again out of the cloud/mist. The hail stopped and I could again see for many miles.

When I arrived back at the car Karen looked at my wind-battered expression with a mixture of alarm and amusement.
‘Weather not so good up there then?’ she enquired
‘You wouldn’t believe what it was like!' I gasped.

All in all the British Camp is an easy and great place to visit.
Just try to make sure you visit on a nice day!

The Colwall Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.2.14

Drive through the village along the B4218.
The stone is easily spotted outside Colwall Pharmacy.
It appears the stone doubles up as a bus stop!

The stone is square(ish) in shape approximately 1m across by 0.5m high.

There isn’t really mush else I can say.

Worth a quick look if you happen to be passing.

Ashbrittle Yew (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 18.1.14

From the town of Wellington, take the A38 south. After a couple of miles you will see a sign to your left for Ashbrittle. Although you have to navigate a maze of lanes to get to Ashbrittle it is well sign posted so you should be ok. Take an O/S map just in case!
You will need to park on the main road and walk along a path to the church, which is behind a couple of houses.

Although it was only 4.30pm, being the middle of January on a wet and dreary day, it was already starting to get dark. I was keen to visit this site so hoped I would get there in time. As it turned out we got there before it got too dark – phew!

I love these old church sites. I was planning on having a look around inside the church but there was (what sounded like) an organ recital going on so a stayed outside.

It felt very much like a scene from a Hammer House of Horror. There I was rummaging about in an old grave yard, at dusk, with organ music in the background and crows adding to the atmosphere – fab!

As for the Barrow itself it is easy enough to find. Just head for the church porch and look for the large yew tree with an old weathered metal information board next to it. You will immediately notice that it has been planted on the top of the Barrow in question.

The Barrow is approximately 1.5m high x 15m across. A couple of ‘modern’ graves reside in the outer edges of the Barrow, beneath the canopy of the yew tree.

The information board states that the yew tree is over 3,000 years old and further advises the reader that this was a mature tree when Stonehenge was in use. As you would expect the tree is large and has what appears to be 7 trunks – one in the centre and six forming a ring around it. I have seen this type of thing before when visiting other ancient yews (particularly the one in Fortingall, Scotland). Although it looks like several trunks it is in fact the same tree.

Ashbrittle is a bit out of the way but if, like me, you appreciate an old church/graveyard, particularly one with a prehistoric slant, then this is a good place to visit. Certainly one I would recommend.

Norton Camp (Somerset) (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 18.1.14

The Hillfort is in the village of Norton Fitzwarren, which is on the outskirts of Taunton. Although Norton Fitzwarren is only a small place the Hillfort is a little tricky to find as it is not sign posted and is almost hidden in a residential area. Best advice I can give is to look for the church and take the roads to the north of it. There is a dedicated small car park for the Hillfort / nature reserve – which is signposted at this point.

Once you have found the car park, it is only a two minute walk up some steps and along a path (through trees) to the Hillfort. A muddy path follows the circumference of the site but a fence prevents you from entering the centre of the Hillfort which appears as though it is now used for crop?

The entire bank of the rampart is covered in trees. From the inside, the bank is about 1m in height, from the outside 2-3m in height. The houses to the south back right up to the southern defences. The garden fence is literally up against the rampart.

I am sure the house builders wouldn’t be allowed to get away with that in this day and age? Oh I forgot about Old Oswestry……………..!

Although there isn’t a huge amount to see this is an easy Hillfort to access and is worth seeking out if you happen to be in the area.

Cothelstone Hill (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

See directions for Lydeard Hill Barrows.
The Barrow is on Cothelstone Hill is about 1km north of the hamlet of Cothelstone en route to Lydeard Hill.

I fully intended to stop and have a look for the Barrow(s) but the road is both very narrow and very steep. There is only one obvious place to park but this pull-in was no more than a quagmire due to the incessant rain we have been having. The mud was at least 1ft deep and I suspected that if we did drive into it we would have become stuck. I didn’t have time to look further afield for somewhere else to park.

Access to the top of the hill looked straightforward enough with a bridleway leading from the road, up the hill through the trees and onto the hilltop where there is at least one Barrow.

One for next time – when the weather is a bit drier!

E.H. state:
‘Bowl Barrow on Cothelstone Hill, 885m NNE of St Agnes’ Well. The mound is slightly ovoid, measuring 12.5m by 15m. It stands to a height of 1.2m. It is disturbed by a pathway on its northern side and its top shows evidence of possible antiquarian investigation in the form of a hollow 1.5m x 1m. It was first noticed by Grinsell in 1957’.

St Agnes Holy Well at the bottom of the hill in Colthelstone is well worth a look. When I visited the little wooden door of the well-house was padlocked but hopefully will be open when you visit.

Lydeard Hill (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 18.1.14

From Taunton take the A358 North West and then negotiate the country lanes through the hamlet of Cothelstone. When you get to the fork in the road go left and follow the road up to Lydeard Hill car park. An O/S map would be helpful. Once you have parked up, go through the gate and take the ‘path’ to the right, keeping the trees to your right. The Barrow is then easy enough to spot on the left, on the higher ground. It is only a 5 minute walk from the car park.

For various reasons, this was our first day out ‘exploring’ for a few months. Despite the rain and cold, biting wind it felt good to be out in the countryside and in the fresh air – something I have missed.

The Barrow is a bit of a sorry site. It is covered in brambles, heather and gorse. At some point in the past it has been dug into and appears to be a popular spot for lighting disposable BBQs – judging by the two I found in the centre of the hole.

In saying all this Barrow is a decent size – approximately 2m high x 20m across – and affords good views over Bridgewater Bay to the north.

This is an easy Barrow to access and a good first site to start the New Year off with.
Worth a look when in the area.

Until I read the E.H. notes when I got home I was unaware of the nearby other Barrow and Cairn. Pity about that.

E.H. state:

'The monument, which falls into three areas, includes two Bronze Age bowl barrows and a Bronze Age round cairn aligned broadly from east to west along the crest of Lydeard Hill in the south western region of the Quantock Hills. The easternmost bowl barrow is 21m in diameter and 1.8m high with a large hollow centre; it has previously been recorded with a surrounding quarry ditch 3m wide which has become infilled over the years but which will survive as a buried feature. About 250m to the west is a bowl barrow 20m in diameter and 1.5m high which has been dug into on its southern side; it too is likely to have possessed a surrounding quarry ditch which will survive as a buried feature. The westernmost barrow, which lies a further 150m WNW, takes the form of round cairn (where the mound material contains a greater proportion of stone rather than earth), which is 21m in diameter and a maximum of 1m high. This cairn has a hollow centre which may be the result of antiquarian investigation; spoil heaps adjacent to the mounds of both of the bowl barrows are also considered to be the result of these unrecorded excavations'.

Llain-Y-College (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 17.11.13

From St Clears, take the A477 west towards Tenby. After about 3 miles you will come to the small village of Llanddowror with a church on your right – park here. Take the track between the church and the pretty thatched roofed Church Cottage. Follow this track a short distance and you will come to a subway running under the new road being built. Once you are through the subway you will see the stone in a field directly ahead of you.

Despite being a lovely late autumnal day the track was very muddy and sections of it were under water. I just about managed to skirt my way along the edges without getting too muddy / wet. The grass in the field was long and wet but luckily I had my boots on so I managed to avoid wet feet for a change.

The stone itself is quite pointy and covered in white, yellow and green lichen.
As it was Sunday there was no construction work being done on the nearby road and all was peaceful. One the road is open I doubt that will remain the case! In fact, the stone will be visible from the new road if you know where to look.

An easy stone to visit and worth the short walk if you happen to be passing.

The church also looks worthy of investigation but unfortunately I didn’t have time as I had two children patiently sat in the car desperate to get to the wildlife park!

COFLEIN states:
‘An erect monolith 1.2m high, 0.4m wide at the base, tapering to 0.2m at the top, having no name and no apparent traditions’.

Gumfreston (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

Visited 17.11.13

A short distance east of Manor Home Wildlife Park along the B4318.
A real ‘blink and you will miss it’ place - in fact we did and had to turn around and drive back up the road! There is a small sign pointing the way to the church and holy wells along a narrow track. There is a small car park next to the church.

Wow, what a great church / graveyard – this place ‘feels’ really old.

The church is well worth checking out and has a wonderful tiled floor.
There are stone steps leading down the slope, past the graves, from the church to the holy wells. Judging by the crosses / candles in evidence this is clearly a place still in use today.

The wells are right next to each other and you could see the water bubbling up from the base of them. The water looked really clear and I even had a taste of the water (something I don’t normally do) – it tasted ok.

I looked around for the standing stone Rhiannon mentions but couldn’t see it. Hopefully it is still here somewhere and I simply missed it. It would be a shame if it is no longer with us.

If you like old churches / graveyards (and holy wells!) then this is a ‘must see’ when in the area – well worth a visit.

I picked up an information leaflet in the church which gives no mention of any standing stone but does say this about the church / holy wells: (summery)

‘The healing qualities of the wells would have been sought out by the communities that settled throughout the fertile Ritec Valley from earliest times. By the 6th century Celtic saints were at Gumfreston possibly living in bee-hive huts and using the wells for baptism. There is evidence of a ‘Llan’ wall around the church meaning it was an early Christian burial ground with a small simple church. The church porch of today could be the remains of that earlier church, with its original door facing the wells.

Gumfreston would have been an important part of the Pilgrimage routes in Wales., both for itself and St Davids but also stopping off on their way to take a ship for Caldy Island, Llantwit Major, Ireland and Spain.

The wells and church today are still in constant local use and attract many visitors throughout the year who come as pilgrims for healing the mind and spirit.’

Cat Hole Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

This is an obvious ‘must see’ extension when visiting Parc-Le-Broes burial chamber.
Easily seen from the footpath and now has its own info board thanks to the Forestry Commission. The cave has a ‘keyhole’ shape and the entrance is large – no need for stooping here! You pass a smaller cave entrance on the way up the steps but this is also barred and locked.

I had forgotten just how good a site this is - despite the new metal railings.
Up the steps through the trees and into the cave entrance. Although the inner part of the cage is fenced off to protect it (there are also bats roosting) you can still get a great ‘feel’ for the place by sitting on one of the large stones in the entrance.

The information board states that the cave was occupied up to 28,000 years ago. I sat and tried to contemplate this. People sat just where I was; keeping warm next to a fire, looking out across the tundra. I imagined how perhaps the cave was utilised with items and people occupying their own little part of the cave, children playing within the safety of the ‘family home’. Perhaps I am putting an idealistic ‘21st century’ slant on things – but it’s a nice thought anyway! I am still trying to get my head around people, like you and me, occupying this cave so very long ago – wow!

The fact that this is also home to Briatains oldest cave art only adds to the 'wow factor'.

Anyway, needless to say, I would heartily recommend to this special place if you ever get the chance.

Crawley Rocks (Promontory Fort) — Miscellaneous

non-visit 11.10.13

I had written a review of how I couldn't see anything due to the high gorse and brambles.

Then looking at the photos I discovered I was looking in the wrong place. I was on the headland/cliff tops and clearly I should have been more inland. Doh!

Shows I don't know the don't know the difference between a promontory fort and a cliff fort!

Penmaen (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

As I was passing on my way to Crawley Rocks Promontory Fort I just had to stop by and say ‘hello’.

The site is pretty much how I remembered it although it was a bit more overgrown.
The inside of the chamber was full of high nettles.

I had however forgotten that the stones had a pretty pink hue to them.
Quite unusual I thought?

Although the Burial Chamber is collapsed and in a bit of a state I still think it is quite impressive and certainly worth a visit when in the area.

As mentioned before, you can’t see the tomb from the path. You need to come off the path to your right and have a wander around the brambles until you find it – not difficult.

Lethrid Tooth Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Failed visit 11.10.13

From Cat Hole Cave, keep heading north along the path (away from the car park) and the cave is somewhere in the trees on the right – although I couldn’t find it!

I knew nothing about this cave prior to my recent re-visit to Cat Hole Cave.

When walking from the car park, through the gate, towards Parc –le – Breos there are now new information boards erected by the Forestry Commission Wales. These give details of the various flora and fauna to be found in the area along with the historic / prehistoric sites.

As expected this included the burial chamber, Cat Hole Cave and the lime kiln. However, I wasn’t expecting to see a reference to this cave; stating that prehistoric remains had been found there. The information board stated that a wooden marker/info board had been erected at all of these sites.
Sure enough there was one at the 3 sites I knew about so I fully expected to be able to easily find the marker for the Tooth Cave. I (quite excitedly) headed up the path keeping a keen eye out to my right where the map showed the cave to be.

I walked right to the end of the path (where you come to a stile and an open field) but I knew the cave was in the trees so I had walked too far. I retraced my steps back towards the car park and continued to look for the wooden marker post – no joy. I ended up back at the information board next to the car park and sure enough it showed I had twice walked past the cave’s location.

So, either I somehow managed to walk straight past the marker post twice without spotting it (unlikely – but possible!) or more likely there isn’t a marker for the Tooth Cave or there is but it is amongst the trees and not near the path?

I have since managed to find out this limited information about the cave:
Lethrid Tooth Cave is the longest cave on the Gower. It was used during the Bronze Age and when excavated it was found to have at least 8 burials – 6 adults and 2 children. The entrance to the cave is blocked by a locked gate.

I didn’t manage to find it but it is worth having a look for when visiting Cat Hole Cave and Parc-Le-Breos. Good luck!

Parc Le Breos (Long Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

On a beautiful day it was a pleasure to visit this secluded wooded valley. There were few people about and it was nice to re-visit this easy to access CADW site.

The grass was wet but the sun was warm. A mother and young child were also paying a visit. The little boy eagerly explored the passageway and side chambers of the tomb.
A future TMAer perhaps?

The site was how I remember it from my previous visit although a new Forestry Commission Wales information board had been erected. This gives a brief explanation of the site along with an artist’s impression of how the tomb had been constructed.

I noticed that the old metal info board calls the site Park-Le-Bruce.
No doubt an anglicised spelling?

This is an easy site to access and well worth a visit when on the Gower.

Bishopston Valley (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

See directions for Caswell Cliff Fort.
When you reach Pwlldu Bay there are two footpaths leading north off the main coastal path. I took the more western path which goes behind a house, across a field and into the woods. The fort is on the eastern side of the woods.

When I use the word ‘path’ what I really mean is a path on the map but nothing on the ground! When you enter the very overgrown woods you are met with a steep sided ravine in which making any headway is difficult. There are lots of moss covered boulders about and trees and roots angled in all directions. It reminded me a bit of the jungle in Jungle Book. Alas there was no sign of any singing/dancing monkeys. Certainly the archaeological remains amongst these trees are not as good!

In all honest I couldn’t make out anything of this promontory fort – but there again I can’t say with 100% certainty that I was looking in the right place to start with.

Perhaps it would be easier to approach the site via the more eastern of the two paths although this would involve walking through the woods the whole of the way.
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I have visited both historic and prehistoric sites for a number of years but since 'discovering' this website my visits have spiralled out of control!
I am now out 'exploring' as often as possible and have been to many wonderful places I didn't even know existed before using this website.
Having visited all the CADW sites I am now trying to visit all the E.H. sites and as many H.S. sites as possible.
In trying to achieve these goals I get to travel all around the country and with it the chance to visit as many sites as possible mentioned on this fine website. I hope some of you find my contributions a little helpful?
I have certainly found the contributions made by others to be both very informative and often quite amusing!
I must also mention the lovely Karen whom without her help, encouragement and understanding I would not be able to visit half of the places I do.
I am forever grateful.

My TMA Content: