|Sometimes it's strange when life's eddies and currents conspire to bring you back to somewhere you last visited as a kid. Such a place is Manorbier, a stunningly attractive little town on the SW Pembrokeshire coast, one complete with castle and a most picturesque sandy cove. I was last here during the red-hot summer of 1983 to visit the virtually unaltered Norman fortress - yep, it's really that long ago.... . Didn't even notice the presence of a far older structure perched upon the headland overlooking the bay at the time. Why should I, seeing as I was in thrall to the brutal military architecture of the Normans? (still am to some extent, I suppose). Ancient stones don't have a portcullis, arrow slits or murder holes, do they? Boring.
So, 26 years later I arrive with the Mam Cymru to remedy the oversight, (arguably) wiser, certainly older and a little more obsessed with these islands of ours. Damn, that castle still looks as broodingly magnificent as ever, although in the interim the village has developed into one of those 'chocolate box' locations American tourists describe as 'quaint' in scribbled postcards to the 'folks back home'.
The chamber's name is apt. If there's a more fitting location for the final resting place of an important individual on the Pemrokeshire coastline, I've not yet seen it. But bring it on! Needless to say I don't clock the fantastic positioning at first, some clambering over rocks between the punters on the beach being required before we gain the headland path. Don't worry, the Mam's used to this by now. And there it is........ perched overlooking a frankly awe inspiring cove, the sea the colour of azure.
A simple structure, the tomb is, I believe, of sub-megalithic type, whereby the rear of the capstone rests directly on the ground without orthostat. We perch upon the impressive capstone and simply watch the world go by... there's a lot of it, too, walkers marching past in single file, none of whom even pause to glance at this ancient structure. Hell, at least I was only a kid! As is my wont I take a look inside the chamber, not the experience it should be due to the frankly disgusting habits of some of the walkers. And with a position like this the only real place to be is upon the top....
Worth the wait? You betcha!
Incidentally check out Moss's recent blog for info on sub-megalithic chambers in the area at:
Posted by GLADMAN
1st October 2009ce
Edited 1st October 2009ce