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

Garth Hill

Round Barrow(s)


Trips to the nearby sites of Tinkiswood, St Lythans, Rhondda Stonehenge or Pontypridd Rocking Stone will inevitably lead to a brush with the City of Cardiff. From the Castle Grounds, the home of a modern stone circle, look up and look to the North you will see the long high ridge of the Garth.

This hill, or mountain, depending on your point of view is supposedly the inspiration for the film, "The man who went up a hill and came down a mountain". From the summit are impressive views across Cardiff and south to Exmoor whilst to the North, Pen y Fan and the Brecon Beacons can be clearly picked out.

There are five Bronze Age Burial Mounds here (five that is according to the CARN database, the rather jaded interpretation board suggests there are only four). Two stand out and are visible as nipples on the horizon overlooking Cardiff. The interpretation board in front of "burial mound number 2" warns sternly of the penalties for vandalising the site, yet this, the largest of the four mounds, sports an ugly triangulation pillar. Whilst despoiling the site it does produce the uncanny effect of making the mound look like a mini Glastonbury Tor from a distance.

The western-most mound (number 1 on the interpretation board) is seldom spotted by the frequent vistors to this viewpoint but it is my favourite. A small hollow provides shelter from the winds and a cosy bed from which the scurrying clouds overhead can be tracked. Some distance to the east is a long ridge running north-south which was built as a gun emplacement during the 1940s. I'll venture no opinion as to whether the intention was to shoot at the Germans or the English.

This site commands spectacular views for 360 degrees and I would suggest therefore that this was a high status burial. Any significant fires burnt in the vicinity of Tinkiswood/St Lythans to the south west or Pontypridd Rocking Stone to the North East would generate a pall of smoke easily visible from here. If you're visiting these other nearby sites you should really try to find time to take in the views from up here. Let me know on the forum if you're planning a visit as this is my local.

Oh, one more thing. It's ALWAYS windy up here.
RedBrickDream Posted by RedBrickDream
9th October 2002ce

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