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


Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


Guess it's somewhat of a cliché to state that those with the loudest voices very often have the least to say. Nevertheless - in my opinion - it's true. Suffice to note I'm therefore not a fan of Noel Gallagher's little brother. Or, as it happens, rappers spouting platitudes which merely highlight perceived moral and intellectual shortcomings. Yeah, class will speak for itself. A bit like, from an archaeological perspective at least, the silence which pervades the sprawling mass of Mynydd-y-glog.

Situated in the transitional 'no man's land' between the seriously compromised industrial valleys and the beautiful, wild uplands of Fforest Fawr and, furthermore, rising to a perfunctory 1,277ft, Mynydd-y-glog must've sacked its tourist liaison officer years ago. Nothing to do. In fact one may well be tempted to ask why anyone would want to come here? It is a question well worth asking, however, particularly should one have an interest in the human story of what is now South Wales. For here, upon these unassuming slopes, sits a quite magnificent collection of Bronze Age upland cairns. According to RCAHMW [David Leighton, 2/9/2011]:

"...Eight round cairns lie in positions locally elevated to a greater or lesser degree. All have been disturbed... Around these lie a further eight round cairns, likewise disturbed.. A ‘simple’ ring cairn lies on a terrace on the north-west, and on the south... is a low circular mound, only faintly visible, with a gently dished interior suggesting perhaps a more elaborate ring is concealed here. Both are undisturbed... On the north side of the mountain are cairnfields and traces of settlements and field systems which extend across Pant Sychbant and Cwm Cadlan, areas which also contain sepulchral monuments. Cairnfields can also be found on the west side of the mountain..."

So, 18 monuments... with more potentially subsumed within the peat? Whatever, far too many to list individual characteristics here. Instead I'd recommend the curious Citizen Cairn'd contemplates a field visit. Take the Cwm Cadlan road exiting the A4059 at Penderyn and, shortly after a sharp right, follow a public footpath heading beyond the farm of Wernlas to ascend toward the summit of the hill, the latter crowned by an OS trig pillar. And quite a bit else.
18th February 2018ce
Edited 18th February 2018ce

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