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

Cors y Carneddau



Walkers making their way westwards along the North Wales Path will be hard pressed not to notice the great Cefn Coch cairn. Guess that's probably a 'given' (although whether its significance duly registers with the average punter is clearly a moot point). The more perceptive pedestrian, perhaps imbued with a passion for corporeal reminders of past humanity, may discern the remnants of a possible stone circle a little to the east. Nevertheless how many of the latter passers-by see fit to interrupt the striding, purposeful gait and pause to peer over the substantial dry stone wall bordering the track to the north, the agency nothing more than curiosity, albeit far from idle in this context. Ah, curiosity... what a wondrous thing to possess! Those that do will, perhaps, notice a pair of fine, mutually exclusive cairns lying in the pasture beyond, beneath the serrated top of Graig Lwyd... actually apparently a trio of monuments, although I was hard pressed to positively identify the last of the triumvirate myself.

Fortunately, considering my inherently poor sense of direction, I approached downhill from Graig Lwyd, where even I couldn't fail to note the excellent kerbed cairn sitting below the course of a power line. Ah, yes. There's no point in denying the adverse aesthetic impact of such things, even the wooden variety. However, to be honest, they do seem to become tolerable after a while, another feature of a landscape which has witnessed humankind's industry for millennia. Or perhaps that's just me?

In my opinion the kerbed cairn is a cracker, the stones much more substantial than I had anticipated. Nice 'round' amount, too.... always a good idea when defining a cairn. I concur with Postie's count of eight orthostats, the sum of which combine to form a monument very pleasing to the eye, whatever may be looming overhead. To be fair there isn't actually much 'cairn' remaining, the impression more that of a small stone circle. But I can live with that. I also have no issue with the excellent view looking approx north-east toward Ffridd Wanc, nor Moelfre, Y Meini Hirion and the northern Carneddau looming upon the upper southern aspect.

The other significant monument to be found within this field lies a little further south and is a much larger affair - a ring cairn with several tall(ish) orthostats upon the circumference of a pretty substantial, low, grassy cairn. To be honest it's difficult to decide which of the two cairns is the supporting act, both, in my opinion, excellent examples of their genre. To put it another way imagine - if you can - attending a concert featuring both Joy Division and ABBA. Utterly different, admittedly, but both masters of conveying something of that most nebulous of elements... the human condition. Not sure which cairn is analogous to which band... possibly the kerbed cairn to JD owing to its sparser nature... but hopefully you get my drift?

As usual, more time is required than I have available before darkness descends. However spending my final hour at the aforementioned Y Meini Hirion seems the most apt way to end a rather splendid day above Penmaenmawr.
2nd February 2014ce
Edited 6th February 2014ce

Comments (2)

Okay, this is the first time I've heard anyone compare visiting two cairns to a Joy Division/ABBA co-headline. I certainly get your drift, although I'm wondering what you had on your cornflakes that day. :) thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd February 2014ce
I try to be original, but, c'mon.... surely it's happened before? I (vaguely, perhaps incorrectly) recall someone interviewing Phil Oakey and saying the trouble with The Human League's 'Dare' was that he couldn't decide whether he wanted to be Joy Division or ABBA. Listen to 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' and the only answer has to be, 'both'. GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
2nd February 2014ce
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