The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Dyffryn Mymbyr

Stone Circle


Thesweetcheat and myself have been looking forward to this one for weeks, ever since his rummaging among Cofleins blue spots payed dividends with an unknown stone circle. Gladman's pictures and ever eloquent field notes brought it to the fore and last Saturday we had our turn at finding this slightly contentious but essential to see stone circle.
As usual I picked Alken up at the railway station at 9 am, but unusually Eric the boy wonder was joining us on this Snowdonia'n expedition.
The weather was behaving itself, we all had our wellies, and our waterproofs, nothing seemed amiss, it should have, but it didn't.
Parking was sought and attained by llyn Pen Y Gwryd, parking was 2 squid, we donned the bog walking attire, then it hit me, not only had I not brought my camera, I hadn't even charged the battery, it had totally escaped my mind. Damn and blast, never have I been so remiss in my stone hunting, crap crap crap, I told myself it didn't matter too much, i've got eyes in my head, I'll just have to try to remember hard what I was seeing.

We started the walk by crossing the small river on a little bridge and followed the river up the very boggy hillside. This waterway also constitutes the boundary between Gwynedd and Conwy. En route upwards I noticed Alken had got left behind, I turned to see what was keeping him, he's taking a picture of course, I was momentarily brought down, not for the first time today neither.
We reached as high as we needed to reach and followed the river towards Llyn Cwmffynnon, not seeing the circle immediately we squelched and sucked our way over to the rocks with the solitary tree, they always seem to know the way, no really, if you lose your bearings go to the nearest tree, take a minute and you'll soon be sorted out.
From up on these rocks the surroundings really knock you for six, Glyders Fach and Fawr are large, close and very rocky, but like Gladman says it's crazy Crib Goch and bumpy Bwlch y Moch that really keeps your eye, Moel Siabod across the valley seems just an after thought.
The tree did indeed have the answer, it was obvious from up there that the circle was back the way we'd come, nearer to the Llyn. So we waded off towards where we'd been directed, then above the heather I saw a stone, then another, and bingo, Eureka, Its here.

The circle isn't circular, its an oval, an ellipse it is. There are five standing and three fallen. A large earthfast? boulder is approximately in the centre. I watch wistfully as Alken takes his photos, I concentrate on the stones and the surroundings, and Eric starts his motion to go. Quiet boy we've just got here.
The stones are quite different in their shape, one is thick and blocky, two fallen stones are sharp and pointy, another is wide and slim and set facing the side of the circle. We note from the compass that an equinox sunset would set behind Crib Goch, and maybe a winter solstice sunset would set between two prominent peaks perhaps Y Lliwedd.
Two walkers with nothing else to do could have set it up its true, but would they have chose this nasty bog to do it in, a nice dryish hill top isn't far away, would that not have been a better choice. The only conclusion is that it must be ancient, and when they were erected it was dryer, any newness to the stones could be attributed to the constant submergence of the stones. Eric is by now needing food and the toilet, we agree that this is a bonafide stone circle and anything more to be learnt of it will have to wait for another time. We descend on the Gwynedd side of the river which turns out to be dryer, but only just.
Later that day I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow and begin to hatch a plan to return the next day.

We do too, Eric and me take our bikes up to Aber falls again, and then race the failing light back to the stone circle, I marvel at Eric's single mindedness to reach the circle before dark. Photographing the stones turns out to be harder than Id liked, the camera doesn't like the dark and some were very blurry, I did learn something new about the place, but its just that i'll have to come back again in drought conditions or snow and ice.
This stone circle whilst now situated in a bog is perhaps one pf the best placed circles in Wales, it certainly has the best view that i've ever seen from a stone circle.
postman Posted by postman
20th November 2012ce

Comments (8)

Great notes you tease.... "it certainly has the best view that i've ever seen from a stone circle" yeah yeah yeah - How about Crugian Bach or Cerrig Cynant. bladup Posted by bladup
20th November 2012ce
The equinox sunset will be over the near horizon about 800 m from the site at a bearing of 262 degrees . Crib Goch will see the sun set over the summit on 10 October an 2nd march . The winter solstice sunset is over Liwedd Bach about 500m east of the summit . tiompan Posted by tiompan
20th November 2012ce
You returned the next day? You're madder than Bladup, so you are. Good show!

Wasn't aware of Cerrig Cynant, but duly on the list... and guess I'll have to get my arse in gear and post some directions to Crugian Bach since I only found that with the help of the farmer... reward for helping him move his cattle. Besides, the OS coordinates are wrong!!

20th November 2012ce
Never been to either of those circles yet, tried and failed at Cerrig Cynant as you know Bladup, but they wont be like this one.

Good with numbers aren't you, thats a compliment by the way. Beyond the 800m horizon is more mountains ie Crib goch, well nearly, half way between Clogwyn station 700m and llechog 718m .

Got to have a photo havent you? madder? as mad as maybe. yep both on my list also
postman Posted by postman
21st November 2012ce
Are they wrong by much Gladman? And yeah i'm mad even by my own reckoning on here, but the 305 th sanest person you'll ever meet in the flesh! and don't forget the 2 ringcairns at cerrig cynant as well and Carreg Garn Fawr's a nice little stone and cairn very close by as well, and down in the valley Gelli burial chamber's worth a look and Ty newydd's a huge stone and there's a couple of nice standing stones and cairns [i see you've been to Crugiau Merched close by] in the hills around as well and on and on, and postie why haven't you been to the Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex yet? I was surprised to see you haven't, your letting this part of Wales down, aren't you now? bladup Posted by bladup
21st November 2012ce
The astro stuff is formulaic so need to be good with numbers , I'm certainly not .
yep there is the lower northern ridge of Garnedd Ugain but it's not the horizon for the suns set .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
21st November 2012ce
Excellent notes as ever. And big applause for going back - I would have done the same I think. This happened to me at Trendrine one year - no battery in camera - and I had to go back the next day - mind you, that was half hour on the bus, not two hours away in the car. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st November 2012ce
Cefn Gwernffrwd Complex , i'll get round to it honest, its on my list as is many places round there, but its already been done by someone so i'm not desperate to get there, I kind of like going where no bodies done before, breaking new ground and all that. Its just so far away as well, cost of petrol and all that. postman Posted by postman
21st November 2012ce
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