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

Foel Fadian

Round Barrow(s)


Foel Fadian is a shapely large hill/small mountain (depending on your point of view) standing point to the NE of the central Pumlumon massif, overlooking the awesome crags of Uwch-y-Coed and the lovely mountain tarn of Glaslyn. As such it is a first class viewpoint, particularly looking toward the great Bronze Age cemetery - not to mention 'Mother of Rivers' - that is Pumlumon itself.... and north to the sublime skyline of Snowdonia. To be honest that would be more than enough. With knobs on. However the 1:50K OS Landranger map also shows an ubiquitous 'tumulus' sited upon its eastern shoulder...... always a welcome discovery for a TMA Citizen Cairn'd partial to the odd earthen mound, too. Coflein concurs, describing the monument as:

'a round, ridge top, earthen mound, 22m in diameter and 2.0m high, apparently undisturbed barrow'.

Now my last visit here was some 14 years ago, incidentally coinciding with some absolutely appalling weather, winds gusting in excess of 50mph. Not so this time around, the slumbering mound just about the perfect perch to sprawl and think about 'stuff' under a pristine blue sky bearing clouds of a much more benign, serene nature than all those years previously. Yeah, this is a somewhat understated monument, residing these millennia past far from the mountain's summit, a visit to which is highly recommended for further excellent views. However I feel a brooding presence here.... no need to be flash when you are the real deal.

The site is perhaps best approached from the Vaughan-Thomas memorial on the minor road to the north-east (the gentleman, a former war correspondent, was quite a dude who walked the length of Wales aged 70 - right on! - having earned his walking spurs upon the flanks of Y Mynydd Du as a youngster). This is not a difficult walk considering the terrain, the height gain a lot less than you may expect. However today, coming from a sojourn upon the pair of barrows upon Bryn y Fedwen to the east, I make my way directly to the round barrow from the entrance to the Glaslyn access track.... where it is possible to park a car without blocking the gate.

P.S - OK off topic - however you might also want to take a look at the excellent waterfall of Ffrwd Fawr a little to the east of nearby Dylife..... but careful now. Keep a watch upon any children since the cascade is 'shy'.... no viewing platform. Again, the real deal.
17th September 2013ce
Edited 20th September 2013ce

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