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


Stone Circle


Pen-y-Beacon is on common land with open access (an OS map is helpful).

Located at the foot of Hay Bluff, about 5km south of Hay on Wye.
In Hay on Wye head west on the B4350, look out for a turning on the left signposted: Capel y Ffin. Take this turning.
Shortly afterwards when the road forks: take the left fork.
After about 4km when the road forks again: take the right fork.
If all is well you will cross a cattle grid in 100m.
When you reach the next fork in the road: take the right one.
When you reach the plateau on top of the hill, the stone circle is on your right beyond the car park area.

The car park area is bounded by a series of low stone blocks (to protect what remains of the stone circle from encroachment by parked cars). What appears to be a reasonable sized standing stone is clearly visible just beyond this area.

This is one of those sites where guides promote the view more than the quality of the remains of the site.
If you enjoy exercising the powers of imagination, this is the stone circle is for you.

Proved to be a circle in 1970. Guides state that 18 stones are visible in a circle of 30m diameter.

My notes read: one large stone, 1m high, broad yet thin edge on, leaning. Stone circle: go figure?

This is the stone on approach which gives the site the impression of a standing stone. Apparently it is the remaining half of a pair of stones set radially, which may indicate a ceremonial entrance/exit of about 1.5m.
The stump of the other radial set stone is visible. To its right in an arc I could find only three other low stumps.
To the left of the remaining standing stone I could find only two remaining stumps at ground level.

Infront of the radial pair (just inside the circle) are two fallen stones now almost submerged into the ground,neither is large.

Walking across the uneven, quarried and still heavily metal detected area for about 30m, away from the car park. There is a shallow arc of three stone stumps at ground level. I would imagine that it is this, which gave archaeologists the diameter of 30m for the circle.

It really does take a leap of imagination to visualise the circle from the evidence which is left on the ground.
Posted by elderford
14th August 2003ce
Edited 1st September 2004ce

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