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


Burial Chamber


Another of those denuded, battered old South Walian long barrows which seem to exist in some sort of semi-urban time vacuum detached from reality, but are paradoxically as real as real can be........

Sited upon rising ground between the villages of Laleston and Tythegston, outliers of the great urban sprawl that is Bridgend, the monument is overgrown and defaced by what appears to be a waterlogged quarry at its eastern end. Nevertheless the earthworks are still quite substantial and there's a pretty hefty capstone in situ, too. Always a good thing to have surmounting a long barrow, I find. Good for the soul.

And it is the satiation of this 'soul', whatever that might be, the appreciation of the intangible elements of a site - I guess you could call it 'vibe' - that is far more important for me these days than the number of orthostats and the like. Little details, initially seemingly irrelevant, that take on great significance as you sit and ponder... the fact that this, a monument built by the first farmers to work this area, overlooks the allotments of Laleston to the north east... serious agricultural continuity emphasising the fertile nature of this small sector of Glamorgan; the Bronze Age 'tumulus' - love that word - crowning a rise to the approx north-west. Was this sited specifically to be seen from the older long barrow and if so, does this imply a continued reverence for previous sacred places or just a cynical power play by the new elites?

Depeche Mode's 'Wrong' periodically enters my head, perhaps my subconscious trying to remind me of one of many wrong courses of action I've no doubt taken recently. However, as cars speed along the A48, as I have many times previously, some swinging down the A4106 to Porthcawl, I'm quite satisfied there is nothing 'wrong' with Tythegston long barrow on this grey day. Quite the opposite.

Hamish's directions, as usual, will get you here. If you come, don't forget your thinking cap.......
13th December 2009ce
Edited 13th December 2009ce

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