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

Fan Gyhirych

Round Cairn


Set high upon the 2,379ft South Walian summit plateau of Fan Gyhirych sits the remains of a large diameter round cairn.

As with other examples in the area, it is not conspicuous due to relative lack of height. Nevertheless it remains, a fact we should be grateful for in this day and age, to continue to provide a precious, if tenuous link with the people who once lived and worshipped here millennia ago....... and what a location, too.

The Fforest Fawr - literally 'big forest', as representing the medieval term for wild hunting country which didn't necessarily include trees - has been one of my favourite walking areas for many years, being just one side of a C90 tape's length drive - usually featuring a certain Mr Cope, it has to be said - from the Mam Cymru's house. Ah, audio tapes... remember them? Ha! Still got 'em. But I digress... Needless to say I've only recently - through our friends at Coflein - identified the cairn for what it really is. Yeah, not exactly quick off the mark, but you live and learn. And it's a discovery which is very welcome indeed.

Coflein:- "A partly grassed-over round cairn located on the north end of a flat summit measures 11m (N-S) by 9m and 0.9m high. Composed of small stones there is no sign of a kerb or cist. A heap of stones 4m across and 0.4m high has been dumped on top of the cairn."

Fan Gyhirych is perhaps best approached starting near the fabulous monolith Maen Llia - why not combine visits if you decide to come? From here you have the option of climbing Fan Nedd (and visiting another Coflein-certified cairn) or taking a good path across the mountain's northern shoulder. Fan Gyhirych is the decapitated summit on the skyline straight ahead to the west.

Alternatively a well maintained track can be cycled from the minor road west of Penwaindwr (on the minor road which leaves the A4067 above Cray Reservoir). It's not as bad as it sounds, honest! Either way make sure you're prepared, that's all.
6th October 2009ce
Edited 6th October 2009ce

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