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Fieldnotes by blossom

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Showing 1-20 of 28 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Hirdrefaig (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I'd come here in the summer with my daughter after visiting several other stones on the island. We parked up at the gate and as we did someone else was pulling in. The driver asked what I was doing so I explained and asked permission. He looked at my OS map and pointed to a field and said it would be ok to have a look. It was the wrong field!
After walking around for ages we decided that we were in the wrong place. We felt like trespassers especially as there were CCTV camera notices everywhere.
We saw some more folk walking their dogs who knew the stone and took us to the right field. They pointed to where it was but we couldn't see it because the field was full of really tall corn. We did try to find it but by this time we were hot and bothered so gave up, vowing to come back in the winter.
So it's winter now and as I couldn't go with Postie and TheSweetcheat up Moel Siabod because of a nasty cold I decided to try again.
Pulling in through the main gate go down the drive passing a gate house on the left. There is a very short gravel track on the left, just after the house, leading to the field where the stone is. There is room to park here.
The stone can be seen straight away across the field from the gate (as long as there is no corn).
It's about 7 feet tall, chunky and gnarled. There is a chunk missing from the top and the owner, Mr Postnet, has observed that the sun rises and sets in line with it at the equinoxes.
This stone is mentioned in "the standing stones of north-western Wales" by Michael Senior

Coflien suggest that this may be a gateway marker but both Cadw and GAT believe it to be a bronze age standing stone.

Caer Pencraig (Ty'n y Caeau) (Hillfort)

A sunny November afternoon in North Wales is not to be sniffed at, so I decided to take my camera out while walking the dogs and visit this hill fort which is on the lower part of Moel y ci.

I walked my usual route with the dogs feeding the horses on the way, but then had to climb a stile over an electric fence. The dogs aren't keen on these ladder stiles but I think they could sense the electrickery passing through the fence so managed it for once.
Crossing the field diagonally past some suspicious looking stones, that anywhere else would look like a stone circle I passed through a farm gate and followed the track to the entrance to the fort.
Archwilio say that this is almost definitely the original entrance. It's on the east side of the fort.
I walked all the way around and could see how well defended it was from the south, the cliff face was quite sheer. I walked around the western side and could see the flatter ramparts below the modern wall.
In the western area of the fort is a large rocky area and standing upon this I had wonderful views across to Moel Wnion, Moel Faban and out to Puffin island and Ynys Mon.
The slope on the Northern side is steep and high, with more electric fence halfway down.
There is a large enough flat area in the middle of the hillfort.

Just my luck my camera ran out of battery so I couldn't take many pics. So I shall go back and take another look. I find this whole area quite interesting and I am sure there is more up there.

Moel Wnion (Cairn(s))

What a beautiful October afternoon. Standing in my back garden I could see Moel Wnion sitting there tempting me. So, determined to find this supposed Cup marked stone with in the cairn, off I trot. To make it a little easier for my self I drive to the Bryn Hafod quarry which is beautiful filled with water but treacherous.
I walk up past Bryn Hall, the old youth Hostel, then up the track. There is a clear right hand turn with the track in a deep ditch leading up around the side of the hill. It's quite a steady climb and I was grateful for the stunning views down the valley. When I reached the flat, the ground was quite boggy and the dogs were quite happy to find proper boggy puddles to lie in and roll around in, because they were so hot.
Following the track East (left) you soon begin to ascend as the track turns north. Follow this up hill until you are rewarded with fine views from the flat top of the hill.
The track turns right Eastish again and leads straight to the cairn which is much ruined, but would have been huge.
The only cup marked stone I could find with in the cairn also has 3 lines on it. GAT says the stone has only one cup mark. There are lots of stones up there that are pitted but thanks to Tiompan I now know these are natural. I am not sure about this one, but it was the only possibility.
It was such a beautiful day that there were butterflies fluttering around. The sun made taking some pics difficult because it was late afternoon and the sun was low in the west.
On the walk down the hill I decided to take some pics of a stone "structure" maybe a wall. The outside of a compound perhaps? It is clearly man made and in an area peppered with hut circles.

Garreg Fawr (Cup Marked Stone)

I had tried to find this cup marked stone 3 other times after Tiompan had told me about it. I was so happy to finally find it.
The weekend before, the weather had been awful and I had been stuck in. So this Monday even though the weather wasn't great I decided to go anyway. I had my new snazzy waterproof wind proof coat, my newish boots and my new little camera. So off I went.
I parked at the car park in Aber at the bottom of Foel Dduarth and walked along the old Roman road. It was very windy indeed but not raining, yet. Passing the Yr Orsedd stone which looks very much like a standing stone, not sure why it has disputed antiquity.
There is a very handy sign post pointing you towards Llanfairfechan. There are lots of arrow stones around here but I didn't look at those today. The wind was really picking up and actually blew me over.
Following along this track until there is a fork, taking the right hand track I dipped down a bit and was out of the wind a little. But it had started to drizzle now and I was losing light.
I walked along this track for a while until there was an obvious right hand track leading down hill to a corregated shed and sheep pen.
As you walk down towards the shed you can clearly see the cup marked stone in the next field. I was quite excited at this point and not fazed by the fact that I was going off the access land and onto a private farm.
I had to climb a gate with some barbed wire on it and then negotiate a number of gates around the sheds and sheep pens and then I was in. The cup-marked rocky out crop is the biggest in the field and I went straight to it, but by now it was raining proper and I didn't want to fiddle around with the settings on new camera so it was just point and shoot and hope for the best. I knew there were two other cup marked stones in the area and went on a hunt. I had seen their postion on Google Earth but try as I might I just couldn't find them. I spent about an hour looking but to no avail.
It was getting darker and more miserable so I sat next to a wall ate my sandwiches and headed for home. I'll try to find the others on a brighter day.

Fonlief Hir Stone D (Standing Stone / Menhir)

When I saw this stone I was unsure about it. It seems so different to the other nearby stones. The others are much thinner and more upright while this is a small squat bolder.
Stone C can be seen quite clearly from this stone. And it does mark the track way leading up to Moel Goedog.

Presaddfed (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

A nice warm day, and it really was easy to spend some time here.
I'm glad to say that the silly wooden truss has been removed.
It all looks as stable as any great big rock resting on top of a thin pointy one.

Fonlief Hir Stone C (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Following along the same road as Carreg and Moel y sensigi pass through a gate. Just before the road forks on a wide grass verge next to the road on the left is this small very thin standing stone.
Tiny compared to the other stones in the area.

Moel-y-Sensigl (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Following along on the same road as Cerrig cross over a cattle grid. The stone is just after this on the left hand side of the road. You can see the top of the stone over the field wall
There is a farm gate which wasn't locked, so easy access.
Lovely big thin stone. I liked it.

Carreg (Standing Stone / Menhir)

After following the steep windy road that leads up from Harlech castle you will come to a cross roads with a phone box and post box.
Turn left here. The standing Stone is on the right hand side not far along the road. It is in the field next to the road and can be clearly seen.

Harlech Circle (Kerbed Cairn)

Taking the first left after the castle and driving up the very very steep windy road. I was delighted and surprised to find that my camper van was able to climb it. You will come to a crossroads with a phone box and post box.
Turn left here. Follow the road along you will see a standing stone on the right hand side.
Just after this is a small layby / bin store.
Take the next right. You have to go through two lots of farm track gates. Luckily I had my son with me, because there are lots of these around here.
A little while after the 2nd lot of gates you will see a public footpath signposted on both sides of the track. There is a stream that has been culverted under the track. Lots of room to park here.
Taking the path on the left, follow it around the side of the little hill and keep going left. I passed another circular structure that looked to me like a cairn. (I've added a pic) Pass through the gap in the old stone wall and then follow the track up hill.
When the ground levels the circle is on your right.

Twll Pant-hiriol (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

On the west side of Moel Llefn is a natural hollow. I have been meaning to go up there to investigate for a very long time. I am very glad that I did.
After quite a hard climb up the side of the hill passing a couple of stoney areas that look suspiciously like small cairns I arrived at the flat area just in front of the hollow. What a surprise.

There, nestled into bottom of the hollow, sheltered on 3 sides by the natural banks is a solitary hut circle. Brilliantly preserved.

It was a very still bright day, and while I was investigating the hut circle two crows flew over head. And because of the bowl shape of the hollow every movement of their wings was amplified. It was quite eerie. But very atmospheric.
It was so sheltered up there. I can understand why they would have settled there. Views down across the valley, and all the way across to Moelfra on Ynys Mon.
Just inside the entrance on the east of the circle is a feature that I found interesting. It is a raised area with a large flat stone to the rear. The front of the semi circular raised area is faced with stones.
In the centre of the hut circle is a sunken area that could possibly have been a hearth.

Just a note on the photos. I was fiddling around with the camera pressing lots of different buttons and ended up with photos that look as though they are post apocalyptic. However they do show the contrast between the stones and grass very well.

Cwm Ffrydlas, Carneddau (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Following the path next to Moel Faban that passes the arrow stone, settlement and burnt mound, pass the huge glacial feature that separates Moel Faban and Moel Lefn on the left. The path skirts around the eastern base of Lefn. Looking to the right there is a narrow path or sheep track leading to a small upright stone with a quartz lump sat on top of it.
Walk towards the sheepfold keeping the mine on the other side of the valley in line with it.

An early bronze age settlement that is really difficult to figure out when you are there amongst the stones. But it is worth coming because the view down the valley is wonderful.

I wandered around trying to work out what was what and found circular features, rectangular features and higglety piggelty features. Then I sat and lost myself in the view.

Lynch says that these are "one of the most characteristic and accessible of Griffith's Class II settlements'- groups of very small huts set within irregular, non-terraced fields. Such settlements are believed to be early Bronze age in date"

There are 6 small poorly built huts most on the line of the field walls.
The fields are of irregular, rounded shape and variable size.
It maybe that the stones were never structural walls but a stone skin piled up against a wooden wall.

Bwlch ym Mhwll-le (Llefn) (Cairn(s))

Bwlch ym Mhwll-le is the name of the gap between Moel Faban and Moel Lefn. (it means gap of the pool room?)
It's a locally a famous feature and can be seen from a great distance.

One of the easiest ways to get here is to drive through the village of Llanllechid passing the church on the left. Then passing a farm called Cobri also on the left. Take the right hand turn which is marked as a "no through road" this leads to the old quarry.

Park up at the end of this road before the left hand bend next to a huge slate wall.
Walk up passed the the water filled quarry and then turn right down a wide dirt track with slate waste on either side.
Walk down to the metal farm gate and follow the dry stone wall up towards Lefn.
When the wall turns right you will see the path at the bottom of Moel Lefn ahead of you.
Follow this path passed the really nice dry stone sheepfold and you will see the big boulder ahead. This marks the site of the cairn to your left.

The cairn has been robbed out with a wide slice through it from the west.
It is in a great spot with excellent views of the Carneddau range to the south and the sea to the west.
You have fine views of the cairns on north slope of Moel Faban.

There is possibly another smaller cairn near by just to the north east.

If you follow along the path to the end of Bwlch Ym Mhwll-le you come to the burnt mound and settlement of Moel Faban.

Rhiw Goch Stone (Natural Rock Feature)

This massive out crop of rock is very close to the Rhiw Goch homestead settlement in Llanllechid.
The picture was taken from the Rhiw Goch settlement.

There are some very interesting marks on one of the stones next to it that are probably glacial marks but look like they could be man made. I will take some pics of these later.

I've no doubt that this massive rock would have held some significance to the people at the settlement and in any case would have acted as a marker for their settlement.

Llanfaethlu (Standing Stone / Menhir)

On the B5025 just before the village of Llanfaethlu there is a chapel on the right hand side of the road. (Capel Soar) The road forks to the right.
On the corner of this fork is the old Black Lion pub. Now closed for business. You can easily park in front of this.
We climbed the wall.

Llech Golman (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Postmans images of this lovely stone inspired me to visit pretty much as soon as I'd seen them.

It does not disappoint. What a lovely warm pretty stone.
It shone in the sunshine.

Easy to find too. After visiting the roadside stone of Maen Addwyn from the village of the same name turn left then it's the first left after the chapel.
The road looks like a farm track/drive. You pass a house on the right and then the stone is a little way down the road on your left. (before you get to the farm track on your right)

There is room to park on the verge and a gate into the field.
This stone is well worth a visit.

Graiglas (Standing Stone / Menhir)

On the A5 between Llangefni and Mona.

Just opposite the entrance to the industrial estate the stone can be seen from the road but it is easy to get into the field.

I couldn't help but notice the rocky outccrop close by in the field.

Meuryn Isaf (Kerbed Cairn)

I parked the car in the Aber falls carpark. Pass the first parking area then left over the stone bridge then turn right. It is £2.00 to park for the day. There are picnic tables and loos here too.

Follow the signs for Aber falls crossing over the wooden footbridge. After climbing some steps you are given the choice to either go to the falls or go left up the hill to the laven view walk. This is the path you take.

Not being the best map reader I hadn't fully appreciated that what I thought would be a gentle up hill stroll was actually quite hard going. It's one of those never ending hills.

The path is easy to follow. You will see another path joining it on your right, don't take this path. Keep on going up the hill until you come to the next right hand path.
Before you take this path looking to your left you have wonderful uninterrupted views of Foel Dduarth.
The path continues to wind up the hill. If you are feeling ok you can take a left hand track marked by two boulders. This will give you more of a climb up to the round cairn. Or you can continue along the track. Round 2 left hand bends and you are on the flat. Behind you is the sea and ahead of you on the right is the round barrow.

The views down across to the sea are lovely. It was so peaceful. I didn't see another soul and considering how many cars I'd seen parked up I was lucky. I guess most people are heading for the falls.

The cairn is great. The shape was clearly defined. Unfortunately the heather made taking a good pic almost impossible. But I could clearly see kerb stones and also the large stone in the centre thought to be the remains of the cist.

I could see why they chose this spot. Veiws of the sea and also across Foel Dduarth and Foel Ganol and beyond.

I'd planned on visiting more Cairns today but the hill did me in and I decided to leave the others for another day.

Perthi Duon (Burial Chamber)

I liked it here.
Someone was playing an electric guitar somewhere and the music filled the air. I couldn't tell where it was coming from and wondered as I looked for the burial chamber if I would find some crazy old rock star sitting on it being all rock star-y.

There is an easier route and with places to park. If you follow the Brnsiencyn road signposted for the sea zoo. Take the first proper right hand lane. It's quite windy and you will see a public footpath on the right. This leads to the chamber but there is no where to park here.
Follow the road along and take the next right hand turn. There is a sharp right hand bend with a driveway opposite. Not far passed this is a big white house on the right. Then a small residential area.
Park up here, there is plenty of room. Next to the big white house, on the right hand side of it, is the other end of the public footpath, although it is unmarked at this end. Walk down passed the white house then through a kissing gate.
Continue a really short distance through this field to a gate on the left.
Then diagonally over this really small field to another kissing gate next to a white farm house.
The chamber is in the field next to the side of the house.

It is really hard to imagine what this would have been like. Maybe it was always very low to the ground?
But it is still charming.

Penllech Coetan Arthur (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Follow the B4417 Nefyn to Pengroeslon Road. Just before Penllech there is a sharp left hand bend in the road. Just on the bend is a left hand turn. Take this road. The lane passes through a wooded area. As soon as the woods end there is a a yard on the right hand side with a metal shed/garage. The chamber is in the field just beyond this yard. There is a kissing gate leading into the field.

I parked here as there was no one around but as we were leaving the owners of the garage turned up. They were fine with us being there once we explained why we were parked up there.

It looks like the fencing has recently been replaced so I didn't manage to get in. The capstone is huge. The setting is lovely.
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Lucky to live at the base of Moel Faban in the lovely Gwynedd countryside.

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