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


Chambered Cairn


Barclodiad y Gawres (the Giantess's Apronful) is the largest of the chambered tombs of Wales. Some of the stones inside are decorated with amazing spirals, chevrons and lozenges, pecked out with stone tools, very similar to the ones you can see in the Boyne valley in Ireland (like Newgrange). To add to the site's mystery, in addition to the expected burnt human bones found in the side chambers, the central space showed evidence of having had a fire in it, and then a 'stew' poured over it before being covered with pebbles and limpet shells. Who knows, perhaps the spilt stew was just the result of it being chucked on the floor in disgust at the taste: analysis of the bones in it supposedly turned up wrasse, whiting, eel, frog, toad, natterjack, grass snake, mouse and hare. Mmm, tasty. Sounds like a magic potion to me.

The megalithic walks site suggests you can get a key, assuming the place is still locked :
"To get one go to the village of Llanfaelog and find The Wayside shop, where for a £5 deposit you can get one. It is worth phoning to check they are open, they were on Sunday, the number is 01407 810153."

A fabled cave lies in the cliffs below the tomb, connected with King Arthur. Arthur was supposed to be battling with the Irish, so to get his treasure out of harm's way he stashed it a mile underground in Ogof Arthur. It's said to be still there - but you'll have to wait for an extremely low tide to glimpse the entrance to the cave.

If this is what the giantess was carrying in her apron, then you'll have to go to Y Ddeufaen to see what the giant had been carrying (according to Grinsell's source in 'folklore of prehistoric sites in Britain').
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th September 2002ce
Edited 18th June 2004ce

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