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Fieldnotes by postman

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Trellyffant (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Just a mile or two west of the better known Llech y Drybedd, Trellyffant is not a middle earth megalithic beast but rather just a muddle of large stones.
I parked the car on the small lane to the chambers east, but it would probably be easier coming from the north after asking at the farm, if it is a farm, it has no living space. Either way it is only a five minute walk.

It was beginning to get dark, and after a long day stone watching this was the last place on my list. It had stopped raining, but low mists still clung to the distant Preseli hills, and the day long mugginess persisted.
But a new site is a new site and I was excited to finally get here, despite the site being more or less a pile of large stones.
The capstone is still held aloft, but is it being held up by the right stones? Two large boulders are still I think in the right place, but the rest is pretty much a confusion.
My camera has had a long day as well, it doesn't like the wet conditions, and it's never liked working in low light, so I put it away, don my cloak of invisibility
and walk back to the car wondering where will my next outing be to, an old favourite?, or a new site, near or far, soon or again far away.

The Altar (Burial Chamber)

Seven years ago I came here in high summer and though I loved the little dolmen I was frustrated by all the thick abundant plant growth, so, seeing as Ive just won round two with Parc y Llyn which is less than a mile away I decided to have another sit down with the Altar.
Driving north through Colston the place came up quicker than I was expecting, I actually remembered the bit of road that goes past the invisible dolmen, a million miles of roads traveled and I can recognize a blank country lane by nothing more than the hedge and a passing place. I parked north of the site by the high gates, climbed over them and wobbled down the slight hill over the uneven ploughed field.
I arrived at the chamber and felt gratified that I could see all the stones quite clearly, including the quartz boulder that I presume is part of the original kerbing. But just to make sure that when I photographed the stones they were as free from tangled plant blight as possible I brought my big scissors and set about the place removing as much weedy clutter as I could.
Under the capstone is still full of earth, is it just part of the bank the dolmen is now half incorporated into
or could it contain archaeological stuff. The dolmen looks like it's struggling out of the hedge, any minute now it'll topple out before me, like an embattled stonehunter struggling through head high gorse.
I don't understand how they could have put the road so close to the stones, they were just a few feet from destroying the whole thing, the fact that the chamber has survived at all should be applauded, nay celebrated.
With no car parking worries this would be a place to sit and wonder for a whole afternoon, I can imagine sitting on the cap stone and not being interrupted all day, apart from the occasional traffic just a meter away. But where such a parking place would be I haven't a clue.

Parc y Llyn (Burial Chamber)

Seven years ago I tried to have a look at this dolmen but was forcibly restrained by a big herd of cows, I managed to get a picture, on full zoom of what I presumed was the burial chamber. But it wasn't enough, if you don't get to lay hands on to the site, it goes on to the next time list, and if you fail that next time, then it goes on to the next, next time list, this was that next, next, next time. Blimey.
I parked at the entrance to the bridal path, no worries though because it's all far to overgrown now to get a horse through, who am I Roy Rogers ? I don't know what a horse will or wont do. Either way I parked there and bushwhacked my way through into the mercifully bovine free field.
The big capstone sticks out like a saw nose (thumbs can go in pockets so therefore don't stick out much) so I tramped across the field to say Hylo.
The capstone is large and rippled like a turtle shell, possibly a Leatherback, it's that size. It's fallen on one side at the front, the side stone has slipped outwards. There is room to have a look under the cap stone towards the back, almost down on my knees and peering in the flash from my camera reveals a back stone that is as flat a stone as you can think of, it is unfeasibly flat. There is also a hollow area where it looks like something like a fox has been resting up, it certainly looks dry under there.
There are hints that more structure may exist in the large thick hedge but I could see not one thing. It has stopped raining now, so I thank the god responsible for rain cessation and move on to the next dolmen, The Altar.

Trecenny Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Take second right hand turn when leaving St Davids on the north part of the A487. When the small lane bends to the right there is a quick parking opportunity on the bend. There may be more conscientious parking by the farm. Fortunately my conscience is on my side so we squeezed in on the bend and leaped over the fence.
The stone is just 30 yards from the car.

What a great stone.
It is tall, wide, slim, and pointy, lichen on the top.
Don't like farmers fields.
The stone has two sides, both have recess like grooves on them that look artificial but probably aren't. Looking down from above the stone is wedge shaped, the thin end of the wedge is sharp enough to slice through paper, the wide end is curved rather than flat.
I didn't stay long, a price to pay for sneaking about maybe, but ive got bigger fish to fry, a fish called dolmen.

St Elvis (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

I've been wanting to come here for at least a decade and i've been trying to find a way down all year long, it took birthday money to do it in the end.
En route by 5am, I saw a standing stone and a couple of hill forts on the way, the way being 160 miles long, but this is the place i'm heading for most. It is one of three burial chambers I want to get to, places I'd had to put off till next time, but next times are nowadays hard to come by, too few and too far inbetween, so every now and then you have to push it, sleep and food must become secondary thoughts.
If only the King had taken a page out of my book.
I will exercise some restraint in further musical related puns.
I parked in the car park that I assume is for the hoards of tourists that must flock here on more sunny days, only old photographs assure me there are more sunny days, as it is I steel myself against the precocious elements and trudge, in a lonely manner, up the hill towards the farm.
The farm track right angles to the right and from here I can see the stones across the field, they are somewhat reassuringly further from the farm house than I thought. The farm track though is another matter, it might double as some kind of slurry canal, collecting it from over several fields and channeling it into a wide reservoir, map says it's a footpath, it looks more like a lake of shit to me. I wade through it, it's not as deep as it seems, the bottom is obviously not visible. I pass by the farm house and walk up to the stones thankfully leaving the farm behind, but not the effluent quagmire, not until i'm in the grassy enclosure with the stones does it get not muddy. This is really one of the worst placed farms i've ever seen, it's like they leave the place in an utter mess on purpose, it's enough to make you die on the toilet.
That's not true, either way.
Firstly I cram myself under the capstone, mostly because it's the done thing but also to escape the stinging sideways rain, incessant is the word, possibly spelled wrong, autospell is an American.
The still standing chamber is interesting enough but the other is more interesting still, I'm not sure it's collapsed, I think it's supposed to look like that, it looks like a recumbent and flankers, but could more likely be a type of boulder burial with two stones kind of containing it. An earth fast burial boulder like at Perthi Duon at Angelsey.
Despite the farm, shite weather and just the shite, everywhere, I stayed too long, I might have to add one of the places on my list to the other list, for next time.
God I'm hungry, deep fried cheeseburger will cure that.
Postman has left the farmyard.

Garn Fawr (Hillfort)

There are two forts here right next to each other, this the western one is much larger than it's counterpart.
Starting from the car park once more, it is not far to the main entrances, three ramparts there are on it's east side, each growing in size as the higher ground is gained. The path passes through the first rampart which is very slight and grass/fern/gorse covered, the second bank the path passes through is more discernible, to the left of the path some stones protrude in sparse patches, but on the right the stone spread is considerable and reaches off into the distance wrapping itself around the contour of the hill.
The top most rampart is very impressive, again it is more grass covered on the left side of the path than on the right.
Once in the fort proper I naturally head straight for the trig point at the top, it is still raining, mist comes and goes, as does the outside world, the wind is the thing though, it is so strong I have to cling onto the trig point for safety, without it I would surely have fallen to a head crunching finale, it was like an actual malevolent force definitely trying to pull me off.
This is my third outing in crap weather in a row and I'm seriously beginning to question the validity of supernatural beings.
I scramble down spiderlike from the top and hide for a while in a WW2 gun privy, from here I can see the western wall, the wind is most absolutely wailing now, there is one spot upon me that is no longer waterproof, a chink in my impervious armour has appeared, I found out while sitting down.
The western rampart is similarly as impressive as the eastern, and again it runs from outcrop to outcrop. Back towards the entrance I decide to climb another outcrop, ostensibly to view the entrance ramparts, but from up there I can see the southern wall, once more running from outcrop to outcrop, if it is a law of fort building amongst rocks they followed it fastidiously, even the banks below the inner entrance ramparts do it, had it been a clear day I may have also been able to see Ysgubor Gaer another fortlet thingy far below, so close as to be part of the same place.
A fantastic fort in what I have been reliably informed is a pretty area. Three times ive been to Strumble and not seen the sun at all.

Garn Fechan (Hillfort)

There are two forts here right next to each other, this the eastern one is much smaller than it's counterpart.
There is a very convenient car park between the two, so I start the walk up to the small fort from here in less than convenient rain and howling wind.
It is only a short walk up hill, before you know it your there. There wasn't any defences on the western side of the fort at all, that I could see. The southern side of the fort is protected by outcrops and near vertical cliffs, from on top of which a great deal may be seen, near and far, but today only the near views are out, windy winds are making it a struggle to stand up. Looking down on the small squarish fort the rampart on the east is the best preserved part of it, the entrance is here.
The eastern rampart is a pretty good wide spread of stones faced with large boulders on it's inside, with a well defined entrance in it's centre.
The north side has a linear spread of stones, but I could only see it on the other side of an impregnable layer of gorse, damn stuff.
Below the rocks on the south side of the fort in the corner a row of rocks seems to cut off one corner of the fort, I offer no conjecture, only stating that they are there.
Why are there two forts so close together, they must surely have been allies, the big impressive entrances of both forts face east, much musing ensues.
Anyway, it's time to tackle the big one across the road.

Parc Cerrig Hirion (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The last time I tried to get to this stone I came at it from the more secluded northern side but this proved a futile and fruitless task. But this time I am armed with the knowledge of failures past, and not just mine, I looked for the small blue garage on the north side of the road, next to a gate, I looked through the gate as I gangland style driveby'd, though not armed with illegal firearms, but rather an intent curious and determined eagles eye.

The frontal assault.
No sneaking round the back, no distant views, no stopping at the gate.
I parked up the road and walked the hundred meters or so back to the gate, I was mindful of the houses across the road, but ultimately I ignored them, does a landowner live there? who cares? we'll soon see.
Quick as you like I'm in the field and striding confidently towards the stone, whilst at the same time trying to avoid excessively boggy areas, it's been raining for hours so bog outnumbers dry 3 to 1.
No body came.
It is perhaps interesting to note what Coflein say about the site.......
Parc Cerrig Hirion is a monolith 2.1m high. A second stone, perhaps a natural boulder, was illustrated in 1875 and removed about twenty years before 1966. A possible stone pair, this stone is not the Lady Stone.
This is not the lady stone your looking for.
I wasn't looking for one.
Is 2.1 meters about 7 feet? the stone is taller than me anyway, that's a good gauge as to whether a stone is big or not. In profile it looks like either the Fish stone or a flint axe.
Nice stone.

Trefignath (Chambered Cairn)

I last came here seven years ago and after reading my fieldnotes from then I see that I was upset at all the building work going on near it. I'd completely forgot all about it by now and yet I was still flummoxed by the disparity between my map and the actual roads, ridiculously I ended up walking to it from the end of the blocked up road by the school, still it was only ten minutes and I had the option of going over to Ty Mawr standing stone, I didn't though, I was on a mission somewhat.
The sun had gone down and left the sky with the deepest blue and the brightest orange clouds, and it was Halloween, if there are any restless spirits at Trefignath and lets face it if there going to be anywhere on Angelsey it might be there, I would be at the ready with my camera.
Clearly I've mellowed out since my last visit, the Aluminium works are still there the other side of the duel carriageway and now there's another new road to Trefignath's south, but they mean next to nothing to me now, partly because darkness hides all the modern sins upon the world, and partly because I can finally accept things for what they are, and they are what they are and can be nothing else. Even those interred within the tomb would be forced to agree that you cant stop progress, on a small island next to a less small island next to an island, room is always going to be sparse, the Aluminium works are over 500 meters away.

Pondering the surroundings aside, this is a brilliant burial chamber, I love the swirling stones of the surviving chamber, I love the fact the whole thing is built on a rock outcrop, how did they get the uprights to go in? I even like the open unroofed chamber, I'm all alone under a fabulous sky and there is no rubbish lying around.
The spirits, if they be here, are not upset or angry, I felt no hand upon my shoulder, but happy and playful and appear in the sky as unidentifiable lights, see fifth picture.

Gogarth Bay (Round Cairn)

Coflein provides the many blue spots and we only have to click on them to see what wonderful things there are abroad in our often less than inspiring countryside.
So when I clicked on this Bronze age round cairn, high on a cliff overlooking the Irish sea, and below a frankly brilliant Iron age fort, I thought "oooh that'll be a good one". The sea crashing against the rocks up and down the coast, Choughs and seagulls going about their daily business, the sun slowly sinking into Southern Ireland which would be clearly visible on a clear day, inspiration guaranteed I'd have thought.

It rarely, if ever, goes the way we'd like it to though.

100 miles separate my house from South Stack on Angelsey and not for one second did I spend any time driving through fog on the way here. Parking in the car park by the gift shop/cafe etc I could see fog on Holyhead mountain, but it was windy and I'm not going up to the fort so I was still hopeful of some inspiration coming my way.
I walked up the road past the bright white folly Ellin's tower, to another, less formal car park, behind this one is a footpath, I let it lead me away up hill and into the fog, which will be lifting any minute now. I pass by two small lakes which I cant see because of a misty ridge between us, I come across a well laid road, leading no doubt to the two Aerials that are down here, the first aerial is just a tall pole, with two small buildings, pass 'em by, the second aerial is much bigger, at least the scaffolding where it was is, unless the scaffolding is the aerial, either way pass it by on a stony foot path.
As soon as you pass the perimeter fence go up the rocky hill directly behind it, the round cairn is up here.
I'm sure the big aerial less than 150 meters away might have an impact upon your soul searching, but in this thick fog it is completely invisible. As is the sea, the mountain, the sun, and everything else, let alone Ireland some 91,165 meters away, sorry, 56 miles.
The cairn sits on it's small rocky ridge rather precariously there is no room either side of the cairn, some stones are down the side of the hill, it is, even without spacial awareness, an impeccably placed cairn.
The makeup of the cairn is various, on top is the larger stones, pushed round the sides to create a bit of a wind break, but mostly they are small stones, fist sized maybe, some are quartz in differing colours. In the centre of the cairn are a couple of large flat stones that if Phil Harding told me were from a broken cist I could be persuaded, but here on my own, I merely shrug at them and stare blankly into the fog. There is one large boulder, off to one side that is somewhat more problematical, it must be part of the cairn, it wont be field clearance, not here, my sense starved brain decides it's a cist capstone in the Irish boulder burial tradition, considering where I am, that's not totally without logic.
On my way back to the car I casually break in to the aerial's compound, drawn on by clearer skies, I can see blue, I stand round under the aerial watching to see if the ridge with the cairn clears of fog, ready to scamper back up if it does, but it doesn't, as I get closer to the cairn the fog thickens as I pull away it lessens, closer thickens, pull away lessens, some may joke about weather gods, but it practically introduced itself here. Barely more than a hundred yards west of the cairn and aerial the sun comes out, out of the fog and it's a beautiful day, tourists stand round watching the dramatic sunset over the sea, I turn back to the hills and fog and shake my head, like that is it?
I'll go to Trefignath instead, it's not far away, maybe I could make it there before the sun goes down, it will be a good one by the looks of it.

The Three Brothers (Natural Rock Feature)

The first time I came here was about a decade ago, the day before my son went to nursery, the day before I began to lose him, that's what school does, it peels away your fingers from gripping his little hand one by one, and smiles in your face while it does it. So I decided we would go somewhere good, somewhere far away, somewhere far removed from organised schooling, so that at least I could remember him in his natural surroundings. But that was an awful long time ago, he thinks for himself now unfortunately, muuum he's thinking for himself again, tell him.
I borrowed a library map last time, and would've this time too if they didn't keep such wimpy hours. So I bought one, a tenner it cost me, you can have it if you want, I left it there, knowing that the next people to visit the three brothers would get horribly lost and there would be this map, like a gift from god (small G) probably.
My daughter came out with me, but as with the other four places I went to today she stayed in the car, I blame the schools whole heartedly.

I'd forgotten how steep and narrow the path gets on the way up, but I do like a nice walk in the woods, and this is one. Turn right at the gate and stile in the wall, take note of the map on the wall, it wont help much, but it is reassuring to know your in the vicinity.
The terrain changes much depending on the time of year and which decade you go, ten years ago there was no trees growing out of and next to the brothers, no brambles choking the southern brother, they were all perfectly intervisible, not anymore.
Passing through the gate take the second turning left, ignore the path, it wont take you to the brothers, look for some small white rocky cliffs on your right, the brothers are above and to the left of the bright white cliffs, I don't think any of that will help, call out loud to the stones, ask any and all animal life for directions, if in doubt a big tree will always help you out, you probably think I'm being daft, give it a go next time your failing to find your way.

The three brothers is a quiet and beautiful place, the endless peace was only interrupted by bird song, gun fire and car racing noises, ok so it was just beautiful this time, but normally........

I really hope this place hasn't been abandoned to nature, it wont look after the brothers, the southern brother was almost entirely covered in brambles, I removed as much as I could without cutting myself to ribbons, again. It is all just too overgrown to appreciate so I climb up onto the middle brother, and sit quietly contemplating this little world, now that I can see all three brothers, I can also see my map on the fence and remind myself not to forget it.
But I do anyway, I blame the schools.

Casterton (Stone Circle)

I found it on my first attempt, and with no OS map either, I google earthed the crap out of the site at home first though.
Heading north on the A683 out of Kirkby Lonsdale, take first right turn to High Casterton, keep going over two crossroads, the second of which has you going up a dead end road to Bullpot, near the top of the hill look for a footpath going left. Parking for two or three. The rest is easy, up the path the circle is in the fifth field on your left.
Ta daa!
A lovely little stone circle is this, perfect in it's littleness. It is very similar to a lot of Welsh stone circles, same size, same small stones, similar setting, the more things change the more they stay the same, or some such bollocks. I counted 18 stones, then 17, then 18 again, then I lost count half way round, gave up and lay on the floor.
Erect once more I circle the ring inspecting it 360 degrees, the mound/platform is a bit weird, why bother? just put it twenty feet that way, unless there is some overwhelming reason to put it exactly where it is. Who knows the mind of ancient man? they were all bonkers.
The view down into the Lune Valley is pretty good, lets be honest there's thousands of them in England alone, but not many of them have a fine stone circle to appreciate them from, that is why were here of course.
The hillside directly behind the circle is in my opinion a bit untidy, a tadd scruffy, unkempt, there's loads of big clearance cairns made into half shelters, but one lone rock caught my eye on the way back, it had some cup mark like thingies on it, I presume they must be natural, but only because they've not been mentioned before, til now.

Leven's Park (Ring Cairn)

From the junction of the A590 and the A591 roundabout near Sedgwick, take the Sedgwick exit and once over the river turn right, after going over the A591 a parking place appears on the right, stop here and proceed on foot through the stile, you wont be able to take the car over it's far too heavy.
The path will attempt to herd you left, ignore it and go straight on towards the river. Look for a large mound, hillock, knoll, bump, the ring cairn is between you and it.
The ring cairn is now more grassed over than in Greywethers photos, less distinct, but still large and obvious. A small cairn like thing is close by to the north east, it is a good place to look over the ring cairn. But not as good as the small hill, large mound, average sized knoll, and indeterminate sized hillock that is to the south. From up here the ring cairn looks like something from down south, some kind of flat barrow, a splash in the grass. I like it it. I didn't like the wooden cage on the hillock, clearly what ever was in there has escaped, unless the grass round here has some evil plans.
Reading Fitzcoraldo's misc note you get an inkling that this might be a complicated site to appreciate, it is. Strange linear bumps at odds with the overall circularity of it, inexplicable large stones randomly placed, it has a juicy history.
The river Kent is close by down a grassy slope, some men were hunting, I presume for fish, they were actually in the water waving sticks at them, damnedest thing I ever saw.

Rusland (Standing Stone / Menhir)

It must be ten years since I last saw this standing stone, and not one modern antiquarian has been here in the intervening years, I'm saddened and disappointed, a bit. Ok, there are bigger stones in the Lake district this ones just over five foot, and the view is agreeable but it's no Castlerigg and the many other stone circles are much more interesting. But really ? no one?
There is parking for two by the gate with the no parking sign, the stone is less than two hundred yards from the road, no problem. This end of the long field has lumpy bumpy moraine type mounding in it, the stone stands defiantly at the edge of one of these lumpy bumps, not far away is a seemingly buried stone.
It is a good stone, not far up the off the beaten track, why not make a quick detour when visiting any of the sites in south Lakeland, poor stone, and poor me for feeling sorry for a rock in a field.

Gyrn Ddu (Cairn(s))

You could combine a trip up to these cairns with a visit to Pen-y-Gaer hill fort, but I didn't fancy the long walk back, so I went back to the car and drove closer and walked from there.
There, being the small dead end lane that runs west/east south of the mountain. I parked the car in an unused and overgrown gateway, so far so good, but then the footpath marked on my map has disappeared, it says the path goes past a farm house called Llethr-ddu, so I trust in the ordnance survey and go that way, despite a complete lack of footpath signs and stiles, I felt a bit trespassery here, but I tuned it out and concentrated more on the scenery. Mostly the scenery consists of The Rivals, ie; Tre'r Ceiri and Mynydd Carnguwch, the loveliest of all Welsh hills.
As I leave the farm house behind me I'm passing along some old walls with frankly massive boulders in them, dismantled dolmens I'm sure.... not.
Getting higher, the hill fort I went to earlier rises above the near horizon, provided by Moel Bronmiod, itself topped with, no, not a cairn but a large Dartmoorish rocky tor, I'd quite like to be up there, but you cant go everywhere at once, though I've heard of a man who knows someone who can.
As I get up towards the top the ground gets distinctively more rocky, progress can be quicker and easier but more dangerous, i'm about 9/10ths of the way up and my daughter sends me a text saying were going out for tea with Grandma, I've got three and a quarter hours to get home, well screw that I decide, an intense flurry of texts ensue, a bizarre thing to be doing in such a place as this, and problem sorted, they'll all wait for me to get home. I am the man.

One tenth further on and i'm confronted with two of the best yet badliest? treated hill top cairns I've ever had the pleasure to behold.
Some dense twat has built two walls over them, clearly and depressingly out of the cairns themselves.
The big cairn has a wall run right through it, either side of the wall is a canyon where the stones have been stolen.
The smaller cairn has two walls meet right on top of it, making photographing the whole cairn impossible. One side of a wall has a very small amount of cairn, it was this bit I saw first, I thought "hunh?" then looked over the wall and saw much more on the other side, but a wall runs through that as well. All very bad.
The culprit should be chastised, extremely chastised, take a moment, stop reading and think of something horrible we could, nay should do to him, it was bound to be a he, probably American.

But it's not all bad, despite the intrusions the cairns are still there, large and comforting, and the stone that has been robbed hasn't gone far.
I decide a walkabout is now due, so I skip lightly across towards the summit, I've also decided that getting to the rocky toppest of Gyrn Ddu's summits, can wait for another time, but just below it is a grassy knoll that would make a good place to get the big cairns with all of Snowdonia behind, plus another cairn is over this way, if it's not too far I'll go take a look.
It's probably about now that I should mention the view from up here, it's pretty good.
Nope, I cant do it, the view is impeccable, the eyes are glued to the Lleyn peninsula, The Rivals vie for attention among themselves, the over quarried one losing every time. Mynydd Carnguwch, is the sweetest most perfectly shaped hill in the known world, it fits in the vision like something soft and warm in the hand. Wow.
Time to go, I skirt around Gyrn Ddu's summit until the the other cairn comes into view, it is indeed too far, a quick zoom through the camera and I'm away, stumbling with shaking legs, not looking forward to the frantic drive home, but so glad I took the time to get over to this under achieving part of North Wales.

I was right to be not looking forward to the drive home the A55 has of late been over ridden with cars going no where important, and three road accidents had to be gotten through, who is passing these idiots, any idiot can pass his test, but not anyone can remain incident free for 25 years and still be doing five times as many miles per year. Grumpy!

Pen-Y-Gaer (Llanaelhaearn) (Hillfort)

I parked the car on the drive up to Tyddyn-mawr farm, not as bad as it sounds, there was a load of big black silage bags to hide behind, there was no one around, and the driveway doubles as a bridleway, or so my map says, there are no signs saying so. Besides the fort is only half a mile from here, and I've got to walk through the farm to get there, if I see anyone I shall have a word, but I didn't, so no problem.
In fact I never saw anyone on the hills all day long, but then this is quite out of the way for Snowdonia, if it's in the national park at all.
After passing through and over several gates i'm out on the hills, I cant see the fort now because of big rocky outcrops to the forts south, so I make for these. From here I had a good look about, far to the south is Tremadog Bay, further west is the Lleyn peninsula, and just below me a fox rushes through the bracken chasing down some lunch. Not bad.
From the rocks it is a short but steep walk up to the fort. Two Buzzards circle above me, screeching at each other, or me.
It was hard going, but eventually I'm at the top, I can see my car far below, despite it's lack of redness, it looks more than half a mile.
Firstly I go directly to the top, and sit, but i'm plagued by large furry bee like flies, theyre so slow I can knock them out of the sky with my hand, god there's loads, they're like flies round, no wait that wont work.
I abandon the summit and take my tour of the defences, at the north end the stony ex wall has got covered in grass, but as I move along the grass is gone and a wide spread of iron age walling, that does not stand at all, moving on.
Far below me I can see the hut circle marked on the map but uncharacteristically I checked Coflein before I left and found it to be Roman, so I didn't go down, which was good because I couldn't be arsed.
Next is the fairly obvious entrance, facing west to the next hill along Moel Bronmiod.
Modern walling stands on top of the ancient fallen spread of wall at the southern end of the fort. Also at the far south end of the fort are a few hut circles, or rather circular platforms cut into the hills slope, some have big stones where the entrances are. I only saw three or four, Coflein says there's a dozen or so.
There are no fortifications on the east side, it is far too steep to storm the fort from here, from below it looks like any tall rocky hill, the big impressive wall faces only west, Tre'r Ceiri, the city of giants is that way.
Moel Y Gest hill fort is visible south east over near Cricceth.
Carn Bentyrch, Carn Fadryn, Carn Boduan are a few other forts seen from here.
Absolutely cracking site with epic views all round.

Carwynnen Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

No fieldnotes since the re-erection, how very odd.

I parked at the gate by the big fancy "look what we did" information board, and took a slow walk down to the dolmen, we had the place to ourselves but the roar of many children playing in the woods drowned out all but the most steadfast of thoughts.
It was a gorgeous evening and we would soon be treated to another jaw dropping Cornish sunset so I decided we would stay until the glorious end, the show would not be over til the fat lady had sung her song.
The stones looked lovely in the setting sunshine, and definitely look better standing up, they did a pretty good job, it's doubtful I'd have come to see a pile of stones half covered in nettles, but this is very good, natures helping out though.
By all accounts, well just one really, this dolmen has a complicated floor, other smaller stones still lie around unexplained, the curve of angled pebbles at the front? of the dolmen are remnants of the paving, or so I'm left to presume, over 2000 finds from the dig and now there's a time capsule down there too.
Almost unbelievably the archaeologists say that the stones were never covered in a mound of any sort, but that you could walk under it even in the neolithic, I cant believe that, an open air burial chamber ?, burial chambers are supposed to keep the remains of the illustrious departed safe, it would be like building a car with no wheels, a plane with no wings, an interstellar mission with no murderous robot. Nope.
We're interrupted a couple of times by photographic opportunists from what looks to be a caravan site in the adjacent trees, but we're sitting at the front on the purpose made sitting stone, out of the way.
Here it comes, the sun is going down, (photo) going, (photo) going (photo) gone.
There are three clumps of nettles that seem not to have been mentioned by the sustainable trust, each clump has a squarish pit dug into the ground and in each pit is a large stone. The only thing I can come up with is Sweetcheat mentioned a nearby stone circle once, I think, maybe it was a dream.
Just like my whole time in Cornwall.

Nine Maidens (Troon) (Stone Circle)

I parked by a field gate just down the road from the gate you have to climb over to get to the stones. Over the gate and the stones are easily seen about a hundred yards away by the far field wall. I neither sprinted nor asked for permission, sprinting is for young people, and permission is for people who don't belong, plus if you don't want people wandering round the field out back, move.
Another nine maidens ? really ? Is crap at counting a Cornish thing, you've got ten fingers......try again.
Never been here before and don't know anything about it, I like that.
At first glance it seems there's only four stones left of this circle, but another has been built into the adjacent wall, but only visible from the other side of it. I didn't know of the other, also built into the wall but closer to the house, probably from the second circle. Drat I'll have to go back for a longer look. When I learned more of these ruined circles I realised that I did know of these stones after all they're in Burls guide of stone circles but named as Wendron.

Burras Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

We went to Paignton zoo earlier on today, the kids asked "what next dad",
"umm, some stones maybe" I replied, pushing my luck,
That went better than I expected so we drove back into Cornwall and headed for Redruth, no mean feat with the A30 being widened and so, actual hell on the roads.

A trio of sites for this evenings delectation, with blue skies and bright sunshine, I pulled up at the entrance to the farm house and saw the tall stone not far away. If you look on Google earth streetview there's an actual stone head on his way over to the stone.
The stones not far from the road but a locked gate needs to be climbed over, so we did. Private property or not a look from the road aint never going to be enough. En route to the stone a car drove up the farm house driveway, we had a good look at the stone, took a few photos, copped a feel and made our way back to the car.
No problem.

Men-An-Tol (Holed Stone)

When you get two full moons in the same month we call it a blue moon, today is that day, blue is nearly my favorite colour so with the moon showing us a full fat face we decided to pay a visit to Men an Tol.
Well, we were in the area already having just been up to the Nine Maidens so it would be prosecutably stupid not come over to the stones.
It was getting dark so we had the place to ourselves, then we reckoned that we may have gone through the holed stone the wrong way last time so we went through from the other direction three times, just to make sure, I really don't want Scrofula.
Then we were away, just a few minutes, that's all, a quick hello to an old friend.
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After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website seven years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Balnauran of Clava
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: