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

Foel Grach

Round Cairn


At 3,196ft, Foel Grach is one of the Carneddau's - and therefore Wales' - highest mountains.... a brutal, uncompromising spot, yet perfect for contemplating those thoughts where only a completely clear psyche will do. Although thoughts such as 'how do I get down again in one piece?' are arguably more practical.

As such it's no surprise to find the remains of a Bronze Age burial cairn crowning the rounded summit, a suitably grand spot to be near your Gods - or whatever else the chieftain laid to rest here believed in - I'd have thought.

It goes without saying that the views are awesome on a clear day, though perhaps the experience of being here is heightened when the cloud swirls ethereally around the tops and the wind threatens to blow your insignificant body over the edge? Nature at her most primeval, her most powerful, the human being fully at her whim.

Bearing this in mind it occurs to me that perhaps we may be barking up the wrong tree - not that there are any for miles around up here - when automatically assuming the siting of burial cairns upon mountain tops was for reasons of personal aggrandisement. Perhaps it was an act of symbolic subservience to the natural world by the heads of Bronze Age society? Then again perhaps this is simply a case of imposing modern world views upon those of our ancestors, the two being mutually incompatible? Well, it's a thought. I'll stop now......

As for Coflein:

'...The summit is a base of outcrop on which stones have been piled to form a rough structureless cairn 1.6m high, now with a slight hollow in the centre.'
31st August 2009ce
Edited 31st August 2009ce

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