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

Pant Ifan

Standing Stone / Menhir


A rather strange set of circumstances surround my visit with this stone, I was at home going through some of Cofleins blue dots and found a standing stone that I'd never heard of, it was not far from the road so I had a look on Google streetview, I could see it clear as day, it looks quite tall as well, taller than me. Coflein confidently ascribe it to the bronze age with a ritual or funerary purpose. How could that one pass us by completely unknown, i'll get to it shortly.

And here we are, it's just after tea time and the sun is getting low, far from setting, but low enough to shower us with that beautiful golden glow.
The lanes round here are thin, the stone is not on the map, so some competent map reading is required.
I parked in front of the gate that leads into the field, the stone is twenty yards distant. It stands atop a small slight slope, take away the trees and you've got good all round views. The stone is nearly 8 feet tall and appears to be a grey slate with green lichen growing upon it, my petrochemical analysis was then interrupted by the lady at the house next door to the field. She was put out by our ad hoc visit to the site and said she would have been pleased to have been asked, my meek face reserved specially for irate landowners and misdelivered mail slid seamlessly across my visage. Many sorry's and "the face" quickly placated her and then she freely divulged some information about the stone, local knowledge according to Aston's rules of archaeology is invariably wrong, yet right at the same time, we'll see.
The stones not old she says, well, it is old but not very old.
Oh yes ? The Royal commission of ancient and historical monuments of Wales doesn't agree, I offered.
She replied that it was put up to commemorate the Boer war, there's maybe 7 others in the vicinity.
Really ? where are they can you point me in the direction of the nearest other.
She duly pointed, and we said goodbye. I took a few pictures and we left, we had a half hearted look for the stone she pointed us towards but couldn't find it.
Perhaps this was why no one else had bothered with this stone, it's only just over a hundred years old, but why do Coflein say Bronze age. I decided to go to a nearby hill fort, where we know were on firmer footing.

Later at home and back on the computer I looked into the matter, there are indeed other standing stones in the very close vicinity, four in a half mile long rectangle. So she was half right there.
Also on Cofleins site description of the stone we went to see, it says it was recorded on the 1st edition OS map of 1889, seeing as the Boer war wasn't till ten years later, she was all wrong there. Also, a quick look at Boer war commemorative stones brings nothing like the stone we saw.
Was she just trying to stop people coming to see the stone by saying it wasn't all that old, that's my feeling, but why aren't these stones better known.
Someone with more resources and time should look into it.
postman Posted by postman
25th May 2015ce
Edited 25th May 2015ce

Comments (7)

There does seen to be an assumption that "standing stones " are BA . Undoubtedly many demonstrably are , but there are plenty that are not , it wouldn't hurt to apply more use of "possible " . The First Boer War started before 1889 , she may have meant 1879 i.e. the Brit -Zulu War and Battle of Rorke's Drift . tiompan Posted by tiompan
25th May 2015ce
Sounds like an attempt to deflect visitors. If it was put up to commemorate the Boer War (or Zulu War, or Indian Mutiny, Crimea, bloody Waterloo even) it would no doubt have had some kind of inscription or plaque. Have you ever heard of a Victorian putting up a big thing without wanting to trumpet the reason to anyone who might be passing? thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th May 2015ce

It's on the 1888 map but missing from some later ones .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
25th May 2015ce
Maybe it went away and came back :) thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th May 2015ce
Yup, I thought that if it was put up at the end of the 19th century for memorial purposes there would be more than a rough random standing stone. Four of them close together makes it even more doubtful doesnt it? Have you seen all the Boer memorials, they're very ornate. Plus why here, what has these obscure Welsh fields miles from civilisation got to do with the Boer war? postman Posted by postman
25th May 2015ce
There were Welsh regiments involved in the Zulu war (with Micheal Caine) but mainly drawn from South Wales. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th May 2015ce
Blossom notes something that may be pertinent .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
27th May 2015ce
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