|This is one stone I will remember for the rest of my life, it goes down in my history of stone hunting as a most singular visit..........
From Nant north of Hundred House, go east towards GraigFawr farm passing underneath a good hill fort, I was hoping to pass by Graigfawr farm and drive as close to the stone as possible, it was late in the day and this would be the last site visited, but the farm track to Cwm Maerdy farm was Private Keep out. So I settled for parking at the farm of Graigfawr, I knocked on the doors but no one was in, not wanting to just dump the car in someones front yard (and wife was staying with the car) I drove back down the road and parked at the first safe place.
The map shows a footpath passing right through the farm from south to north and the stone is very close to said path, so no problem so far you might reckon.
There is no such footpath on the ground, or rather there is no signs admitting to the path no stiles over hedges and fences, no signs of it at all, later developments have convinced me that the occupiers of Graigfawr farm have done there best to deter travelers, by eradicating all vestiges of the public footpath. I'm no legal eagle but i'm sure there is some illegality to this.
Any how, footpath or not, my instincts twinned with a lucky glance through a hedge found me the standing stone of Cwm Maerdy, a nearby conifer plantation has sprung up from the blank hillside my map informed me was there, but no matter, the stone was taller than it looked from Graham's photos, and from each angle a different stone was revealed. The menhir sits on the edge of a small hill surrounded by bigger hills, one of which has a hill fort and pillow mounds on it and in t'other direction, the from here, pyramidal hill called "the van" with its visible from everywhere cairns. The darkness was falling earlier due to the cloudy nature of the day, it was beginning to rain and i'd left the wife alone for too long so it was time to go. From here I could see that the farm of Cwm Maerdy was not in fact the farm but two half ruined barns, I deduced that from there I could just walk along the track that at its end says Private Keep out. And so it was, it was quicker to get back to the car than it was to get to the stone, no jumping fences, streams or falling over weird earth tussocks. In no time at all I was back at the car and wife was fine, except for a passerby stopping and asking her if she was looking for them, she said she wasn't but was waiting for her husbend, me.
The day was over so we started the long drive home.........
Then came the erm... interesting bit.
We got home, watched some telly, then went to bed. About 1am there was a knock on the door downstairs, "No way" I thought "who could that be"
It was the Police, I answered the door with my best"Do you know what time it is? "face, I let him in and he asked me if I'd been to mid Wales at all today? My eyes widened slightly and curious to see where this was going I said "Yeees?"
"What for ?" he asked
So I had to tell him about my hobby/ calling/ obsession I even showed him the photos taken that day, he informed me that my car had been seen acting suspiciously down a farm track, and with farm related thefts high in the area, the owner of Cwm Maerdy farm had called the cops after taking down my car registration number.
Anyway the Bobby felt I'd suitably explained myself he said sorry for the late hour and was gone.
And that is what will keep this stoney visit in my memory for ever, flippin' farmers, custodians of the land my arse.
Posted by postman
25th October 2011ce
Edited 23rd October 2012ce