|I was prompted to make this post following a recent visit to Carn Fawr... the twin cairns of Carn Gwilym standing proud (with a little help from modern 'masons', it has to be said) upon the summit of Carn Hyddgen across the valley.
Intriguingly, Coflein quotes a field report from 1910 stating:
'there are here two cairns, 60 feet apart. They stand on the summit of Mynydd Hyddgen... an outlying height of Plynlymon, midway between the sources of Nant y Garn and Nant Lluest fach. They are each 20 feet in height; of rough construction, the stones being piled into a mass without any signs of regular courses. No stones similar to those used in the building of these cairns are to be seen anywhere around; none are scattered about from which they could now be erected, and none are of a size larger than one man could carry hither. Of the carneddau of the Plynlymon district Carn Gwilym is probably the best preserved'
Each cairn measuring 20 feet in height in 1910? Surely not? Oh, come on?
Whatever the accuracy of the 'not so modern antiquarians', CPAT gives a succinct appraisal of the current state of affairs:
Northern cairn - 'Substantial summit cairn c. 13m diam. Original form difficult to assess due to disturbance and construction of a modern cairn 3.2m diam x 2.8m high, off-centre to S. Small shelter also built into cairn on E side. Outer edge of cairn is turf covered, with loose rubble interior, Top has been levelled and remains of a revetment wall survive on S side. Irregular group of stones to SE is of uncertain function. The modern cairn has been recently rebuilt (?and enlarged) using more of burial cairn stone. Good palaeoenvironmental deposits over 1m deep c. 100-150m to NE. (CPAT 2002) (CPAT Prehistoric Ritual & Funerary Monuments, 2002)'
Southern cairn - 'Substantial cairn which appears to comprise a turf covered ring bank 13.2 x 12.5 x 0.5m, visible most clearly on E side, the interior of which is filled with loose rubble forming a cairn up to 0.75m high. The top has been levelled and disturbed by the construction of a modern cairn set off-centre to W, measuring 3.4m diam x 2.4m high, possibly recently rebuilt. Small satellite cairn adjoins E side, 2.5m diam, composed of well-sett stones. (CPAT 2002) (CPAT Prehistoric Ritual & Funerary Monuments, 2002)'
Posted by GLADMAN
12th December 2011ce
Edited 12th December 2011ce