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After dropping the kids off at school and collage I decided that it has been too long since I last went out, it's payday and there are blue skies and fluffy white clouds overhead so I grab me stuff, jump in the car and head out west.
The weather in Wales and me don't get on all the time, in fact we argue constantly, I want sunshine and rainbows but Wales doesn't care what I want so it tries it's level best to deter me from coming at all, today was no different. The head sized hailstones half way there almost made me turn round but i'm more persistent than that.
By the time I parked in the car park the weather had settled into murky low cloud, the fort is visible on the euphemistically named Conway mountain, but there is no direct route, so a half mile walk east down the road to a crossroads turn left on to a wide footpath follow that up hill till you get to a T junction of footpaths, left again, when a right turn going uphill presents itself take it for a now direct route to the "citadel".
Upon my return home and looking it up on Coflein I can see that the hill fort proper is much bigger than I thought so all I had a look at was the citadel, don't make this mistake.
The citadel, I will continue to call it this, just for a laugh, takes up only a quarter of the entire fort, but it is the best preserved part, actually it has been partially restored if the pictures on Coflein are anything to go by.
I've been trying to find the time to come here for a couple of years and so far the weather is kind of cooperating, the wind is very strong but the rain passed by just a couple hundred meters away. I only spotted two definite round house platforms, there are more.
The battery in my camera now chooses it's moment to let me down, so I swear loudly at it, it doesn't seem to have any effect. I take it as a sign that it is time to go home and pick the kids up, but I stroll side ways over to a vantage point across from the fort and whisper sweetly to the camera, it allows me a few more photos, that's why we anthropomorphise.
I don't fancy retracing my steps laboriously back to the car so I try and head back in a straight line, it didn't go well, two barbed wire fences, a wall and a small stream have to be crossed whilst keeping out of view of the two nearby houses, it was more fun but it probably took longer than the right way.
I parked in front of the gate into the next field, it is just big enough, and it is close enough to the stone to be able to run back to the car and move it if necessary.
A very good stone is this one, tall, slim and definitely taken from Orkney, this is the third stolen Stenness stone ive relocated, the other two are in North and South Wales.
After seeing quite a few stones this shape one has to wonder if it has any meaning, after some wondering I've decided that it just looked good to the stones erectors, as it does to me, unless the top was really broken off to help make a road, sounds unlikely.
One side of the stone has been splattered with manure, if I was farmer I'd cover it in a tarpaulin before muck spreading, but then I would 'cause i'm not a twat, or at least not a big one.
There are other stones here, but seeing as they are all far too random to make any sense of them I ignore them return to the car and drive the long drive home, all stoned out.
To the west, and northwest of the fabulously rocky Rough Tor is one of the biggest prehistoric settlements I've ever seen. It runs in a north/south strip well over a thousand meters long, and about two hundred and fifty meters wide at it's widest. There are bronze age cairns to the north, east, south and west, three stone circles to the south and south west, and Time Team dug here proving the settlement to be bronze age too.
I've seen hut circle groups before, many times, but not as well preserved as all these, and not even half as many as here. It is a town, or at least a big village.
It is big.
As you walk north west from Louden stone circle to Stannon stone circle the obvious and natural place to aim for and stop off at on the way is this nice little kerb cairn. The four remaining upright kerb stones are easily spotted coming out of the short grass, they sort of wave at the walker, "Cooee i'm over here, here I am, please do'nt go over to the stone circle, come and look at me, d'oh, they never come to see me, it's not fair." Maybe i'm putting words into the cairns mouth, or maybe i'm just anthropomorhising again, but I imagine most folk on this bit of the moor are after stone circles, and that makes me feel sorry for the underdog, I always do.
It's a nice little kerb cairn too, the four upright stones are the shape of shark fins, circling hungrily round a large flat stone, perhaps an old turtle. There are other fins but they are sinking below the grass, and that turtle, surely that's an intact cist. The more you look at it the more it all looks intact, it isn't, but there's more there to see than you can in a quick past to the stone circle.
Of the three stone circles in the area, Stannon, Fernacre and here at Louden hill, this one is in the poorest condition, and yet, even if the other circles were not here I would still have come just for these stones, perhaps not for six hours, and perhaps not all this way for just one stone circle, but with as many as 36 stones still left you have to come and see it at some time, don't you?
Despite the high number of stones left in the circle most of them are having a lie down, which proves what I've always heard about the Cornish. From the south end of the circle away across the moors to the south I can just make out where King Arthurs hall is, I zoom in on it with my camera and i'm surprised I picked it out of the wilderness so easily. I'm also surprised to see the Hall framed from behind by a low hill, they do that don't they? Frame a site by a hill when seen from another site, and surprise me.
If you've got a list of sites that need to be seen and Louden Hill is on it then you'll have no choice but to come here, but you should come anyway, list or not.
Walking the farm track from Fernacre stone circle east to Louden hill stone circle there are four cairns in two pairs, the first pair are south of and close to the track.
The two cairns are about twenty feet apart and quite different looking, one is just your average stony mostly grass covered cairn, but the other has three sides of a large cist with a few kerb stones still standing, inserted into the north side of the remaining cairn material a small cist has been inserted outside of the kerb stones. I liked it a lot, if a cairn can look cute then this one would be on an internet based show called cairns make you Lol, or something.
Back to the track and about a hundred yards west the other two cairns are about twenty yards north of the track. Again there are two different looking cairns here, the furthest north is another stony grassy mound, whist the other has a big cist in it, the fourth apparently missing side slab is I think broken and half of it is in the cist. I like big cists me.
Onward to another stone circle.
I went to Stannon stone circle just over five years ago and was a bit disappointed that I didn't have time to come here, that disappointment was well founded, I missed a good one here.
The best way to approach this stone circle is from high on Rough Tor, sitting out of the wind in some rocky cranny with a great view of the stone circle and the nearby settlement belonging to those that built and used the circle, Brown Willy is over to the left and just out of view to the right two more stone circles. This is the place, and this is the best way to approach a stone circle, from above, descending upon it like a Vimana, or a watcher from the mountains, or a middle aged man with a bad back, take your pick.
After picking my way down off the mountain and through the ghost town I stood next to the circle, right next to it, I couldn't believe my luck, just two days ago I was limping round work with a suspected broken buttock, now, after showing my car to the problem, I am here in the circle, and even touching the stones if I want, the juxta position of these two experiences separated by just two days always blows my mind.
I didn't count the stones, there are many, or feel the need to touch every one, they are cold and rough, except where they're smooth, I just looked, I gave it my Star Wars face, reserved for only the first viewing of such a film, if your still wondering what face, it's a look of disbelief mixed with one of astonished amazement.
A wandered over to the outlier, wafting gracefully like a tripped out ballet dancer, after picking myself up, it's not a big stone but it's obvious as an outlier, what a place, this would be high on my list of favorite Cornish places, should I ever have one.
Best of all, nearly, I'm leaving here not for the dull and depressing drive home but to another stone circle I've never been to. Nirvana.
If you had a time machine and wanted to bring a bronze age man to the present, you could do a lot worse than coming here, there was loads of them, women and children too. It's hard to tell where one settlement starts and another begins, nearly a mile separates one from another but not much seems to separate the two, it's all as big as a small modern town, are they even separate places at all ?
The ground is covered in lines of stones, long boundaries, big pounds with round houses in them, houses here and there and every where with the odd cairn thrown in just to confuse us, no wonder there's so many stone circles round here, this was a seething pot of humanity or as Obi Wan would call " a wretched hive of scum and villainy."
If these are all bronze age houses and there isnt much reason not to believe so, then it's a small logical step to presume that Fernacre stone circle barely a hundred yards away was the special place of those who lived here.
The past doesn't come to life here, it's all in the mind, but it does.
I've known about a few stone circles in the area for ages, ive known about the king of ring cairns on Showery Tor for a smaller age. But it took a TV show to really peak my interest, strangely there are no monsters, aliens or spaceships in this TV show, a common theme for most of my viewing, it's an archaeology program, I doubt you've heard of it, it's finished now, Time team it was called. This one episode has the team on Bodmin Moor below Rough Tor, investigating what they hope is a Bronze age settlement, and a very weird long curving cairn like thing.
I watch time team a lot, i'm very sad to say that ive even seen the digging up a plane one three times, so you can imagine how many times ive seen the prehistoric ones, it's comfort watching in it's purest form, during the many many hours of watching these characters reveal the past I have in my mind elevated them to the high position of gods. Seeing as no one can definitively say what a god is then it's up to me to satisfy for myself what a god is or isn't.
So to stand in the very place that the highest god of them all stood in whilst performing his miracles is a blessed thing to be doing, goose bumped and giddy I nearly exploded.
Sadly I couldn't really tell which round house Goddess Raksha was in, I really would've exploded if I had.
In the Time team episode Phil only dug in one place, but he was able to detect the method of construction, the turf was stripped, large kerb stones on the outside, rubble infill with paving at the side and the turfs probably replaced on top, it would have looked very striking. But they didn't really address the curve to it, they said it was aligned on Rough Tor, how can a curved anything be aligned, if so then only the east end is aligned on Rough Tor the western section is very much aligned on Showery Tor and it's massive ring cairn, is it multi phase ?
North of the long cairn there are only a few cairns, and a standing stone or two, but on it's south side it just explodes into a frenzy of things, things? there are more round houses than ive ever seen anywhere, they are everywhere, curving lines of stone cover the hill side, if they were all occupied at the same time there would have been hundreds if not thousands of people here. Bonkers.
It's not really a long cairn though is it, it's in an indeterminate class of it's own, if you know of anything vaguely similar let us know.
Me and Phil Harding occupied the same physical space on earth, and to a lesser extent with Francis Prior.
I tried to come here one evening last summer whilst we were down in Cornwall, tried and failed, no map, no idea, no clue, failed.
I tucked it away into a mental back pocket, not always a good thing, it's taken a decade to get back to some places, but I really wanted to get up Showery Tor, I really really wanted to see what I have dubbed the king of ring cairns, It would be on the front cover of a book that would be called something like Ring cairns of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, probably written by a man with a beard, anyway he would choose this ring cairn to adorn his cherished accumulation of years of travelling, above all others, it is the king of ring cairns.
From the car park the way is clear and obvious, you might want to follow the long silly cairn up the hill, try to pick out the spot where Phil Harding and Francis Prior stood excavating, selfie opportunity. (Shoot me)
I should probably mention that today is the spring equinox and that after a five hour drive under grey skies it was clear that the sun would not be recognising my dedication to duties, but would instead be ignoring my efforts utterly. As expected really.
Anyway, I am on site at the appointed hour, but I have to look at my compass to see which way the sun is coming from, I reckon a sunset would be better, the best vantage viewing points are on the east side.
So, there's no sun, but everything else is just superb, the ring cairn is massive, more like a henge in size, the rock stack in the middle works on me in more ways than one, on it's own it's an impressive little rock stack, made of pretty stones, the broken rock second from bottom....... was it broken when the ring cairn went up?
Why was it chosen for a cairn to go round it, is it just a cool place or did it have some deep meaning for them, bah, pesky mysteries.
Three ponies are sharing the hill top with me, but unlike most that ive come across they are totally unafraid of me, even pausing and posing for photos.
I've been here for a while now and it seems that nothing more can be gained from sitting in the wind, of which there is plenty, so after returning to the car for my lighter, I re climb the hill and sit out of the wind on little Rough Tor, a perfect point from which to zoom in a good picture of the south half of the ring cairn, until some dick on a motorbike screams round the hill top, there's no justice, if there were he would have exploded.
Climbing higher up the side of Rough Tor itself the ring cairn is perhaps now too far away to be seen, but Showery Tor is a Minninglow of Cornwall, an unmistakable shape on the horizon, not as unmistakable as Rough Tor or Brown Willy, but you hopefully get my drift.
But now I must get off for the long legs of my walk, three stone stone circles, a dozen cairns and a hundred round houses beckon me on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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)
Gwal y Filiast
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.