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

Maen Morddwyd

Standing Stone / Menhir (Destroyed)


22 September 2016

The coast path runs a hundred yards from the church at Llanedwen, so it's no hardship to detour off for a quick rummage around the churchyard. Cloudless blue sky, sun sparkling on the deeper blue of the Menai Straits, a picture perfect backdrop of the mountain ranges of North Wales from Carneddau to Nantlle ridge, this couldn't be a nicer spot for a hill-free post-equinox walk.

Llanedwen is one of two possible locations for Maen Morddwyd, fittingly for its reputation as a wandering stone. The other is Llanidan, a couple of miles further along our route today.

Rhiannon has found lots of slightly contradictory information about the stone. The sources don't seem to agree about which church(yard) it's in, none really give a description other than the fact it's shaped "like a thigh" and all of them predate some fairly big upheavals at both sites. And they seem to agree that it went missing before all of that anyway. There seems to be a lack of engravings, woodcuts, potato prints, watercolours and etchings of the stone.

Llanedwen church has been completely rebuilt, but appears to have retained its original churchyard. Llanidan by contrast was replaced by a brand new church, with the original left to fall into disrepair, ruin and private ownership.

So I hold out little hope of finding the missing stone, but it's always worth a look. Now, I'm not claiming anything here, just reporting what I found.

Round the back of the church (the east end if you like your directions more directional), just inside the wall but not part of it, is a slim, slightly tapering stone, buried in the ground so that its top surface and the upper parts of its sides are visible above the grass.

It's the shape of a chunky human thigh, if that's what you want to see. It's a little over 2 feet long, broader and one end that the other, much like a thigh.

The church itself is locked, so there's no opportunity to investigate the interior for further thigh-shaped stones. When we get to Llanidan a little later in the day, the whole site is locked, but someone over on the portal has drawn a blank in there. So this might be the best bet we have. Or it might be nothing at all.

Is it Maen Morddwyd? No idea. I don't even know if this is the right churchyard, after all. But it's nice to do a bit of investigative nosing about, especially in such a lovely spot.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
27th September 2016ce

Comments (2)

Well this is a super moment. It should be the New Thigh Stone even if it's not definitely the original thigh stone I reckon. It's just very nice to see someone going to look for something stoney that's so legendarily mad and celtically romantic.
Your mention of potato prints has made me want to do a series of potato prints based on lesser known british megaliths. I'm not kidding.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce
Thank you, as so often prompted by your folklore posts. And I'm sure there's a market for your new series, can I come to the private view? thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
27th September 2016ce
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