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

Saith Maen

Stone Row / Alignment


Failed visit 7.7.13

We parked up outside the entrance to Craig-y-Nos Country Park (room for several cars) and Karen stayed with the children who were asleep in the car. I crossed the road and saw a public footpath sign for Open Hill Heritage/Geological Walk.
That’s handy I thought and headed up the path.

You soon come to a few information boards and warning signs about staying to the path (indicated by white topped posts) to avoid falling to your death off the side of a cliff.

Interestingly enough you soon come to a sign giving (basic) information about prehistoric standing stones and next to it a large (approx 2m) modern standing stone and a second stone (same size) laying on wooden rollers showing how the stones may have been transported. So far, so good.

I continued along the increasingly steep path and up through a wood. I eventually came out onto open hillside and continued on up. By now the path was very steep and I had to stop several times to catch my breath (not getting any younger you know).
Ahead of me I saw in the distance what I thought was the stone row but as I got closer it became obvious that this was only a natural rock formation.

I continued up to the summit of the hill and crossed over the several outcrops of rock looking for the stone row – all to no avail. I had promised Karen ‘I wouldn’t be long’ as the weather was hot and I knew the children wouldn’t stay asleep for long. I looked again at my map and the approximate location of the stone row compared with the Country Park. It then dawned on me that I had climbed the wrong hill – Doh!

I looked across and could see the hill I should have climbed. Just as I was contemplating climbing over the barbed wire fence and heading across the hillside I received a text.
‘Sophie awake, screaming, need you back NOW’

Well, that was the end of that. I trudged back down the hill bemoaning my lack of sense of direction and missing out on seeing the stone row. On the way back down a passed a couple taking a breather on the way up. As these were at least half my age I didn’t feel so bad for feeling knackered myself.

Although I had largely wasted my time I did get to see some cracking views of the Beacons from the top of Open Hill and did see the ‘reconstructed’ standing stones which I would have otherwise missed.

By the time I eventually arrived back at the car both Sophie and Dafydd were awake and Karen didn’t seem too happy. Still, our next stop was a picnic at the Maen Mawr and I was confident moral would soon pick up!

One for an obvious re-visit. This time going up the right hill!
Posted by CARL
8th July 2013ce

Comments (4)

You were on the right hill Carl , just maybe on the wrong side of it. There is a path off to the right of the old dram road that the stone hauling mock up is on. I'm not sure if this was the path you took This is a steep path too, with wooden steps. It takes you to the top of the hill on the Northern side. You then follow the old quarry roads to the West, and when you get to the furthest little hill, about a kilometre or so, you head North again, following more old roadways. This takes you away from the quarry workings out onto more open moorland heading up the valley for about another kilometre. The stone row isn't really visible until you are fairly close, so a map would be a good idea first time here. Straightforward after that. Posted by cerrig
9th July 2013ce
Thanks cerrig. The path I took was the steep one with wooden steps whic ends up with a wooden stile crossing a stone field wall.
Sounds like i wasn't too far away then?

By the way, I did have a map!!
Posted by CARL
10th July 2013ce
That sounds like the one Carl. You had done all the hard work, it was mostly flat after that. You can get to it by walking up past the stables opposite Craig y Nos, but it's even steeper , and probably better as a way down. Posted by cerrig
10th July 2013ce
Bugger! Thanks for the info cerrig. That's one of the reasons this site is so great. Posted by CARL
10th July 2013ce
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