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

Ysgyryd Fawr



Visited 7 March 2010.

A visit to the "Three Castles" of Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle with some friends includes a walk up Edmund's Tump (Graig Syfyrddin), a prominent hill in eastern Monmouthshire. A lovely spring day, a bit of a chill lingering from a cold morning, the mud still firmly frosted. From the hill, an impressive view stretches west across the Monnow valley to the Black Mountains, but the real draw for me lies nearer at hand in the form of the wedge-shaped Ysgyryd Fawr, an outlier of the bigger hills, sharp-crested and solitary in its elevation above the valley. It looks close enough to touch.

After leaving White Castle, a hasty plan is made to climb Ysgyrd Fawr before the light fades. We park to the south and make our way through woods to the steeply rising ridge. The sky is a deep blue, the ranks of hills, ridges and mountains themselves hazy in powder and periwinkle, ice and Delft.

It's cold on the top, the summit is exposed to winds that didn't register down below. The views are wonderful though, I watch a couple of planes leave their high altitude vapour trails, the only mark on the otherwise flawless sky. There's little to see of any hillfort, although scant remains of the later chapel are discernable. But coming here isn't really about the archaeology, it's a matter of location and landscape.

It's not long since I climbed the neighbouring Blorenge, a first foray to these South Wales peaks. By now my appetite is properly whetted and I long to visit the hills I can see spread before me. I won't be waiting long.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
3rd March 2018ce

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