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Long Cairn


The adjective 'obscure' could well have been devised for the location of this long cairn, although, to be fair, much of the 'secret garden' vibe is no doubt due to the wooded environs.... and the fact that the monument is conspicuous by its absence from both the 1:50K and 1:25K OS maps. This is not a site to accidentally stumble across on walkabout (although stumble the visitor will, believe me) but instead a temporary haven from the more annoying manifestations of what we term the 'modern world'. Yeah, I would rate the chance of an undisturbed hang here close to 100%, since I reckon even the Coflein people must've sourced local knowledge to find it. Surely? As for myself... I simply asked the Postman.

It is true to say that the locality does not exactly display a paucity of Bronze Age and Iron Age sites. Oh no. A little to the approx NE a cluster of round barrows duly, well, cluster around the small village of Staylittle, whilst the looming, soggy heights of Pumlumon - Itself - are crowned with perhaps the finest extended concentration of upland cairns in the UK. There are hill forts and lesser enclosures, too. But what of the Neolithic, you may ask? Well....the long cairn is set in a classic location for the type, a short distance east of Cwmbiga Farm overlooking the Afon Biga, one of the lesser rivers sourced upon the aforementioned 'Mother of Rivers'. There are, er, others. Only a couple of hundred yards from the road it may be, but to all intents and purposes it might as well be on the moon for all the likelihood of a casual visitor venturing here. Needless to say Michael Stipe won't be coming, then. Pity.

Speaking of REM, assuming you manage to cross the ridiculously mossy 'lost world' landscape eloquently described by Postman and actually locate the monument, the vibe here is so ethereal the scope for day dreaming is extensive, to say the least. I've no idea how long the Hafren Forest has hidden the long cairn from prying eyes, but assume such a state of affairs was not the original builders' collective intention, something the visitor should take into account. Nevertheless the cairn's grassy 'crust' suggests it's been a while; in fact only a couple of (excavation?) pits and a small area of stone breaking the green mantle confirm that this is indeed a cairn. Definitely a long one, too.

So.... visitors in search of high drama should look elsewhere. Hey, venture up to one of Pumlumon's great round cairns, why don't you? But if an understated, slumbering woodland vibe appeals, make your way to Cwmbiga Farm and follow the southern bank of the Afon Biga - very, very rough going - to the approx east. The monument is not obvious, but isn't that all part of the appeal?
7th November 2013ce
Edited 9th November 2013ce

Comments (3)

Nice one Mr G - good effort. Posted by CARL
8th November 2013ce
My own little paradise, glad you liked it man. postman Posted by postman
8th November 2013ce
Ironically I'd parked at the same spot a few years back to ascend the Pumlumon Cwmbiga rounds.... makes me wonder if there's more Neolithic stuff - a 'Bwlch Goleuni', perhaps? - waiting to be (re)discovered upon Pumlumon itself? The official archeaos can't get everywhere, can they? GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
9th November 2013ce
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