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

Y Pigwn

Stone Circle


OS Map required.

Be prepared to walk across several kilometres of open moorland. If you cycle it is up and up hill on the way there.

Two stone circles.

In the hills around 4km northwest of Trecastell/Trecastle.

From Brecon take the A40 to Llandovery; turn left at the far end of Trecastell. Head up the hill for almost 1km; take the first right and keep on going for 3km until the road stops at a gate (signposted 'unsuitable for motor vehicles').

Worthy of note: on the right is a tumulus with an OS triangulation marker on it (trig point 383m OD).

Continue on the track (as far as I am aware this is a Roman road) for around 1.5km.

The reservoir to your left is the Usk Reservoir; there are two standing stones close to the end you are looking at, but not visible from the track.

The track will rise and curve to the right, at this point up ahead to the right is the highest point; a hill called Y Pigwn (with a roman fort on the top). Look carefully along Y Pigwn, most of it is open moorland, but running up along its right hand edge is a fence, beyond which is the green grass of pasture land (there are also trees on it which can be seen against the skyline).

This is what you want to walk towards, at some point leave the track and wander in that direction, you shouldn't get lost as you are headed toward the field boundaries along the edge of the moorland.

You should be walking across a gently rising saddle of land and the larger of the two circles should come into view first.

Neither circle is visible from the track.

In guide books Mynydd Bach is described as a ritual complex, because nearby are also the standing stones as previously mentioned, cairns and a round barrow.

The smaller of the circles has only four remaining stones, but it is possible to locate the empty sockets of a further four more which reveal it to be a small circular setting rather than a four poster. All the stones are leaning and less than 1m high. It is 8m in diameter.

A short distance to the northeast is the larger circle, it has 21 remaining stones, and pits suggesting 3 more. At the southeast is a jumble of larger fallen stones, which it is suggested may have been a ritual entrance (I suppose something like a small Swinside). There is a very slight rise in the centre of the circle. Like most Welsh circles, the stones are low, between 0.4 to 0.6m.

All stones, like most in this vicinity are given as being Old Red Sandstone.

There are some other stones close by: 'Prehistoric Sites of Breconshire' Children & Nash claim that the two circles are linked by 3 low stones, (which I couldn't locate), whereas 'Clwyd and Powys' CADW Guide has an illustration that the stone setting is to west of the smaller of the two circles.

The CADW guide also mentions an isolated stone 3m long lying some 100m southeast of the larger stone circle.

It also mentions that the barrow is not visible from the circles.
Posted by elderford
2nd August 2003ce
Edited 17th February 2008ce

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