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Saith Maen

Stone Row / Alignment


Access less than 1km south of Dan-yr-Ogof showcaves on the A4067.
On the road is a property: Nant Gwared Bungalow.
Behind it is Nant Gwared Farm, ask for permission here to visit Saith Maen (there is a bridleway, but signs on the road inform that it does not give access to the hill on which the monument is sited).
Then over the stile and up the hill, which is a short but steep climb over open moorland.
Just head for the top of the hill and Saith Maen will come into view on the summit.
Try not to fall in the very deep kettle hole next to the monument.

The name translates as Seven Stones. Of the seven stones two have fallen (the largest).
They are all of the same stone (carboniferous siliceous grit stone, apparently) except one which is Old Red Sandstone, which means it was either dragged there or was a glacial erratic.

The orientation is north-northeast by south-southwest.

The heights of the stones (including those fallen) range from 0.6m to 2.8m. Edge on (looking along the row) the stones present their thinnest sides. From in front or behind they show their broader faces.

CADW says:
First stone (most northerly): 1.6m
Second stone (fallen to west): 2.3m
Third stone: 1m (sandstone)
Fourth stone: (fallen to east): 2.9m
Fifth stone: 0.8m
Sixth stone: 0.8m
Seventh stone: 0.7m

The length of the row is about 12m, the gaps between the stones appears to be a similar distance (around 1m).

Barber and Williams (1989) suggest that the alignment is pointing to the nearby stone circle Cerrig Duon, which is 6km to the northeast.

CADW also mention a possible outlier 7.9m to the southwest.

Beautiful views up there, but do take care as it is boggy on the track and the limestone outcrops, tough grasses and steepness of the hill can make the decent a bit ankle-bending.
Posted by elderford
6th August 2003ce

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