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

Holyhead Mountain Hut Group

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


Parking in the RSPB car park – allowed, we were off bird watching after the huts –we crossed the road and progressed along well kept grassy paths amidst a sea of bracken on the lower slopes of Holyhead Mountain. Some mature American hippies/Bronze Age wannabees passed by, one of them wearing a very nice purpley-russet poncho. The sun shone down warmly, and rounding a corner, I was treated to my first hut remains – and was instantly enchanted. What a corker of a site. White dry stone walls, approximately two and half feet high, shone in the light, contrasting with dark green bracken fronds, vibrant purple heather, and brilliant yellow gorse flowers. The turf floors were cropped close, and despite the exposed position, the whole place looked very 'gentle', for want of a better word.

It was easy to visualise the low conical roofs of the roundhouses, and the people moving between the structures. Having just finished the third in Manda Scott's Boudica series of books, I was put in mind of her Iron Age vision of life. What must it have been like living in a roundhouse on an exposed cliff face? The weather had by now broken into glorious sunshine, but winter gales must have been horrendous as they drove into the cliffs, straight off the Irish Sea. One roundhouse looked as if it would have made a snug bolt hole when the tribe gathered together for food, drinking, and story telling. Presumably though, our North Walian Bronze Age ancestors were nowhere near as nesh as a modern day Southerner – and of course, the climate was warmer in those days.

I thought of how they would have sustained themselves – fish caught from the beaches below, boar raised on the mountainside, and eggs taken by terrifying climbs on the perpendicular cliffs which are home to thousands of sea birds. Tasty! Before we left, I gazed out over the view our ancestors enjoyed. The Irish Sea stretched unbroken to the horizon, and to the south, the mountains of the Llyn Peninsula rose out of the sea in irregular, soft, misty blue silhouettes. It was, quite simply, superb.
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
3rd September 2006ce

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