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

Fairy Glen

Natural Rock Feature


There are no stones, no cairns, no rock art here, not even a hill fort, I've struggled for years to justify adding this natural feature. Eric and me went here on the solstice so at least iv'e got some pictures to add. But it does have some ancienty connections, it is almost exactly one mile west of Capel Garmon. Between the Glen and the burial chamber is a rocky outcrop called Dinas Mawr, Dinas of course usually meaning a settlement of some sort but there is no hill fort there. At the eastern end of the Glen two rivers meet, The Afon Conwy and the Afon Machno, at the western end of the Glen two rivers meet the now bigger Afon Conwy and the Afon Lledr. Even without the meeting place of three major rivers I believe it would have been one of those proto temples and would have been well known by the builders of Capel Garmon.

My first trip here was with my brother and parents over thirty years ago on one of our annual holidays to North Wales. Then when I passed my driving test you just couldn't keep me away, I came with my mates, with an ex girlfriend on my own and even at night once, I know the place well. The time before this visit the place had changed somewhat, A car park had been built, a new path to the gorge, with an honesty box, confound these money grabbing newbies, we payed and saw the glen. That was over ten years ago, at that time I felt it lost some of it's charm, so to review that position a return visit was due.
We parked the car in the car park, room for a dozen cars, and made our way to the new path, passing the honesty box Eric suggested I ignore it, but I just couldn't, I didn't have the right change so I chucked in what I had. Half a minute later and an old man chased us down pointing out I hadn't put in the right amount and he had change should I need it. Confound these newbies. He gave me the right change, and I pointed out that we never used to have to pay all those long years ago and he said Au contraire people have been paying for two hundred years, there used to be a man in a hut down the lane taking pennies off the tourists. Bollocks. Not since the moon landings have I heard such claptrap, I know the hut he means and there was never anyone in it, there was a slot in it for money we presumed but no message of its use, so it was free. As free as the air around and the water running through the gorge. Bloody newbies.

We carried on to the Glen, it was a much longer walk than it used to be, but it was as beautiful as ever, thank god . The water was high, very high, it's best appreciated in low water and high summer, the sun pouring down through the narrow gap, mayflies bobbing about and dippers dipping and so on and so on. Beautiful.
Back up the slippy slate steps there used to be a place where you could cross through into the next property and follow the gorge along , there was even a place where you could climb down into the gorge and sit on a big rock in the middle, it's the best place in Wales, but no more, high barbed wire topped fences bar the way. The only place your allowed to now is the entrance to the Glen, and look longingly up the river to the gorges narrowest place.
Confound these newbies.
We left, energised by the rushing river and raw natural beauty, but bitterly disappointed at the curtailing of gorge exploring.
Confound bla bla bla!
postman Posted by postman
23rd December 2012ce
Edited 23rd December 2012ce

Comments (2)

re old man chasing you for money.. I still cringe when I think about this.

Gf and I parked up and walked to the gate, and like Eric, I was all "2 quid? Fuck 'em, just put 50p in or something", (very loudly and confidently) so she did and we walked through. 30 seconds later there he is chasing after us asking for the right money, quite disgruntled. Turns out he's got CCTV up there and, I assume, audio recording too. How else would he know what we'd put in the box?

A little embarrassing to say the least. The glen is magical though.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
25th December 2012ce
He didn't seem disgruntled, he even seemed to genuinely think i'd not got the right change ( I had ), the bit that pissed me off most was suggesting that people had been paying for 200 years to see the glen, absolute tosh, I've been a dozen times without even a whiff of a charge, just because he's opened an area for parking and chucked some gravel on the floor in imitation of a path he can charge us for looking at a part of the river. It's not the paying that bothers me, well it is, but mostly it's the not being able to see any further than barbed wire allows. As soon as circumstances allow i'm sneaking in and seeing it all just like we used to.

The most magical bit is in the thinnest part of the gorge up river from the slippy slate steps, that's where i'm heading.
postman Posted by postman
26th December 2012ce
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