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

Cerrig Duon & The Maen Mawr

Stone Circle


OS map required

Middle of nowhere on an unclassified road between Trecastle and Craig-y-Nos

The road follows the river Tawe. At the point where both run along side each other, the stone circle is up on a plateau on the other side of the river (30m from the road). It is easier to see from the road if you are travelling from Trecastle (heading south), because the large stone (Maen Mawr) slightly to the north of the circle is reasonably easy to spot. Whereas heading from Craig-y-Nos (heading north) the plateau hides the circle.

You will have to cross the river on stepping stones and the monuments are on open moorland.

Cerrig Duon (the name translates as ‘Black Stones’)is a small Bronze Age stone circle, directly to its north is a large standing stone (Maen Mawr) and beyond that two small outliers, all aligned north to south. To the east is the river Tawe which also runs in this direction.

For those of you who love the super henges, all the stone circles on the Brecon Beacons are small in diameter with small stones and badly damaged, but with exceptional views.

Ynys Hir, is a single stone circle. Mynydd Bach is a double stone circle, as is Nant Tarw and Cerrig Duon is a single stone circle with a large standing stone outlier as well as an avenue.

The most impressive monument is Maen Mawr (translates as ‘Big Stone’) a large block of sandstone nearly 2m high, 1.3m wide and nearly 1m thick. Rectangular in appearance with an almost flat top.

Just to the south of it is Cerrig Duon. Not quite circular (Egged shaped) around 18m in diameter. It comprises of 22 stones. As usual all stones are small, with the tallest only reaching up to 0.6m. The stones are (Pennant) sandstone and slab-like.

To the east of the circle is the avenue, made up of even smaller stones (described in the CADW guide as ‘very small stones, which can be difficult to see…’). Around 5m apart, narrower at the end nearest the stone circle and headed in a Northeast direction. Guide books give the number of stones in each of the two rows as around 16, but I found them difficult trace beyond 6 or so. The CADW guide gives the total lengths of the rows as 42m and 25m (or 35m in another guide).

There is speculation that the avenue points to a nearby standing stone (Waen Lleuci), 1km to the northeast.
Posted by elderford
6th August 2003ce

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