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

Y Bwlwarcau



Visited 13.5.13

From the M4 (Jct 36) take the A4063 towards Maesteg.
A couple of miles outside Maesteg you will see a brown sign to the left directing you to Llangynwyd (Historic Village). Turn here and enter the small but pretty village.
At the crossroads go straight across and keep going down hill, under the pylons, until the narrow road takes a sharp turn to the left. It is opposite a farm drive.
There is plenty of room to park here on the verge; next to a metal field gate.

Although the O/S map shows a public footpath heading up the hill there is nothing to show on the ground. There is however a rough ‘tractor track’ which seemed an obvious route to take. The ‘tractor track’ is made up of the usual lumps of broken masonry, bricks and concrete. What was different was that there were also the remnants of several grave headstones – some of which appeared to be relatively new. How and why these came to be used in such a manner is anyone’s guess although it did seem inappropriate and a waste?

Anyway, 10 minutes later and I am at the site.
Very little to see in all honesty. A ‘rough, lumpy bumpy’ area of ground covered in spiky grass and gorse. You could just about make out a curving bank approximately 0.5m in height. There are decent views over Llangynwyd and Cwmfelin in the distance.

Not one to recommend.

COFLEIN states:
'Y Bwlwarcau is a enclosure complex, Iron Age or rather later, set on east-facing slopes on a broad spur of Mynydd Margam. It is a complex multiperiod site, but one coherent layout can be identified, as well as obviously later trackways and medieval type house platforms.
The most obvious layout had a strongly defined inner enclosure set within a much larger outer enclosure and linked by an approach way. The 0.3ha inner enclosure is roughly pentagonal measuring some 64m across. It is defined by two to three lines of ramparts and ditches. The entrance faces east where its outer ramparts turn to form a funnelling approach way at the end of which they swing back to enclose the roughly concentric curvilinear 4.3ha outer enclosure. This rests on the steep slopes above Cwm Cerdin to the north and elsewhere it appears to have been defined by two widely spaced ramparts.

A small, generally rectangular enclosure lies between the inner and outer circuits to the south of the approach way and is attached to the ouer rampart. It is about 50m north-south by 38m and is defined by a rampart and a relatively broad ditch. This could be a contemporary feature rather than a later addition'
Posted by CARL
14th May 2013ce

Comments (3)

What you describe sounds like only the outer defences Carl, which appeared ploughed down to me. There is also a relatively powerful inner enclosure, the main bank over (my) head height in places standing in the ditch .... although both banks and ditches very overgrown.

If you could manage a winter visit you might change your mind?
14th May 2013ce
Sounds like I missed the inner enclosure Mr G.
Mind you, that's not very surprising as the rain was coming down in sheets while I was at this site and it was hard enough to stand up in the wind! Luckily the weather improved as I moved on.
Perhaps another visit required one day?
Thanks for the info.
Posted by CARL
15th May 2013ce
Not surprised you missed it, Carl. I have to admit I walked right by on my first attempt... thought the same as you. Ploughed out.

Then I saw the aerial pic on Coflein and went back the same week. Had to.
16th May 2013ce
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