|An early telling of the tale. No mention of the hole. But you can apparently use the stones to judge the size of the giant.
... there is a wide difference between [sepulchral] heaps, and those on the highest summits of these hills; the latter are formed of large building stones, the former chiefly of small stones, such as can be carried by hand;From Observations in the Snowdon Mountains by William Williams (1802).
which I think is sufficient proof that they were intended for different purposes; one in memory of the dead deposited under them, the other the ruins of temporary buildings, which sheltered persons on the watch, who were to give the country signals, by lighting fire at the approach of an enemy, in time of war.
And besides, those on the summits are commonly known by some name, such as Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Ddafydd, Carnedd y Filiast, &c. the others seldom any names given them, unless they are named from fabulous events; such as that on Bwlch y Ddeufaen, which is called Barclodiad y Gawres, literally, The Giantess's Apron full. The tale is thus:
A huge Giant, in company with his wife, travelling towards the island of Mona, with an intention of settling amongst the first inhabitants that had removed there; and having been informed that there was but a narrow channel which divided it from the continent, took up two large stones, one under each arm, to carry with him as a preparatory for making a bridge over this channel; and his lady had her apron filled with small stones for the same purpose: but meeting a man on this spot with a large parcel of old shoes on his shoulders, the Giant asked him, How far it was to Mona?
The man replied, that it was so far, that he had worn out those shoes in travelling from Mona to that place. The Giant on hearing this dropt down the stones, one on each side of him, where they now stand upright, about a hundred yards or more distant from each other; the space between them was occupied by this Goliah's [sic] body. His mistress at the same time opened her apron, and dropt down the contents of it, which formed this heap.
This and such like tales, though modelled and modernized perhaps from age to age, according to the genius and the language of the times, were, I am of opinion, originally intended as hyperboles, to magnify the prowess and magnanimity of renowned persons; from which we may conclude, that these heaps, especially those that have pillars near them, are very ancient, even prior to the Christian era.
Posted by Rhiannon
20th May 2015ce
Edited 20th May 2015ce