|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.
Posted by postman
20th November 2012ce