|As with nearby Fan Gyhirych, it took me near on 14 years to actually confirm the prehistoric ancestry of this cairn... but... well.... perhaps it wasn't really needed after all because the great 2,176ft high lump of rock and (usually) sodden earth and grass it's perched upon - known to us as 'Fan Nedd' - just sort of feels 'right' anyway. So I guess I already knew. Hard to explain, but come here and I'm confident you'll know what I mean. The Fforest Fawr is far quieter and - dare I say it - less fashionable than the nearby Brecon Beacons, whose highest decapitated summits are clearly visible on a clear day beyond Fan Fawr.
Somewhat unusually for such a cairn, it is NOT located at or near the summit and therefore not to be confused with the prominent - if rather odd - walker's cairn on the northern apex of the summit plateau (not to mention an equally odd horseshoe shaped shelter). The site is most directly reached via a ladder stile not far from Maen Llia and a subsequent climb up the eastern flank of the mountain.
Hmm. Maen Llia...... I'd actually suggest first time visitors to the area save a foray to this fabulous Bronze Age monolith until later (betcha can't, however) since the physical cairn remains will inevitably be a disappointment following on from such a beauty. The views, however, will not be, particularly if you carry on to the summit itself. If you indeed choose to do so you may be tempted to ponder the fact that almost every visible mountain possesses a Bronze Age burial cairn, from Fan Llia across the valley, Fan Gyhirych, Waun Leuci and Mynydd Du itself to the west... not forgetting the aforementioned Beacons. Can't really ask for more, can you? And all the while Maen Llia guards Sarn Helen down below as it has for millennia.....
Oh, as for Coflein:
"Located on the edge of a level shelf on ground falling to the E is a circular mound 4.9m in diameter and .45m high. A few stones are visible, possibly kerb stones."
So, not the greatest cairn, granted..... but in just about the best location there is, in my opinion.
Posted by GLADMAN
9th October 2009ce
Edited 10th October 2009ce