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

Fan y Big


Needless to say this could very possibly be one of the most obscure sites to feature in TMA... one for 'completists' or the obsessed only, perhaps? Hmm... so much so that I've no idea what to 'label' it as?

Set a little to the south of the 2,358ft summit of Fan y Big, high upon the great northern escarpment of The Brecon Beacons, the location is awe-inspiring. It truly is. The physical remains, frankly, are not - for if there is something actually here to see, I could not find it. Might even have walked right by without realising it, who knows? Guess it's my fault for assuming a cremation burial would be within the remains of some kind or cairn or cist... but I understand this need not be the case. Perhaps a GPS owner might be able to provide a definitive answer? Perhaps.

What is not in dispute is that this wild, windswept mountain ridge was the last resting place of at least one Bronze Age inhabitant of the region. To quote Coflein:

'Remains of a cremation burial lying on the path passing Fan y Big, two cordoned urns and a bronze implement were recovered from the site in 1981'.

Significantly he/she was not alone, for nearby Pen-y-Fan, Corn Du and probably Cribyn (cited by the relevant local archaeological trust, but not Coflein in this instance) also featured Bronze Age burials. For me this simply adds another dimension to a multi-faceted landscape that already has me freaking out with delight. Clearly here we have South Wales' highest Bronze Age cemetery……..

The most direct approach is via the long northern ridge Cefn Cyff, parking your car (carefully, mind) near the farm at Pen-yr-heol. Minimal the remains may be, but that is just one aspect of the 'package'. Less is very often more, I find.
29th September 2009ce

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