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

Llyn Cerrig-bach


Sited, perhaps significantly, toward the southern end of the channel separating 'mainland' Anglesey from the 'holy island' to the west, Llyn Cerrig-bach - the source location of Wales' most extensive ancient hoard of metal artefacts - lacks the mountain landscape drama of the other primary hoard sites at Llyn Fawr (Glamorgan) and (near) Tal-y-Llyn, Cadair Idris. Nevetheless the finds recovered here during 1942, the result of peat extraction during the construction of RAF Valley airfield, make the site of fundamental importance to any understanding of the Celtic culture of Iron Age Wales.

The collection includes in excess of 150 items fashioned from both iron and bronze (as at the Llyn Fawr), the most poignant perhaps being two 'slave chains' apparently initially used by the workmen for dragging lorries out of the mud! Then again, give them a break; how were they to have known? A case of extreme experimental archaeology in action, methinks. Aside from this reminder of the appalingly harsh reality of Iron Age life, the collection also features no less than 7 swords, 6 spearheads, a piece of a shield, trumpet.... even some equestrian stuff.

It is tempting to equate the deposit of such an important votive offering (surely it must have been ritualistic?) with a desperate request for supernatural assistance against the Roman legions poised across the Menai Straits filled with murderous intent .... if so, it didn't work!

The Llyn Cerrig-bach hoard is now kept at The National Museum of Wales... further details at:
19th January 2013ce
Edited 19th January 2013ce

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