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

Fan Gyhirych

Round Cairn


A trip up here after visiting Maen Llia and Fan Nedd (4.4.2010), following in Gladman's footsteps. We arrived during another brief hailstorm, and the few yards from the trig point over to the edge of the steep escarpment to view the summit cairn were particularly windy and unwelcoming. But that aside, what a spot. Terrific views open on all sides, east to Fan Nedd and the central beacons, west to Y Mynydd Du, to the north the land drops away down to Cray Reservoir, while to the SW on a better day Swansea Bay is visible.

The cairn itself is a low mound, with the usual walker's construct built on top of it. It sits right on the edge of the summit plateau, rather than at the highest point and is out of sight until you are practically on top of it. This makes for another one of those situations where it has a great view itself, but is not easily viewed.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
18th April 2010ce
Edited 12th February 2013ce

Comments (7)

Thanks for this and the pics... they clearly show how extensive the barrow really is, but also how the walker's cairn obscures that fact. Looks like you've truly got the hill-bug... and by the looks of your stamina in getting here, you're not following in my footsteps but blazing a trail of your own.

As is probably obvious to you by now, very few people who visit places such as this have a clue what's under their feet, choosing instead to pile stone on top, even when - as here - there's a perfectly good OS trig point nearby to signify the summit! Having said that, perhaps this represents the remnants of some deeply imbedded communual cairn building folk memory in the common psyche, so is really a continuation of the tradition?
19th April 2010ce
Yes, truly bitten! I can't tell you how much I am itching to get back across there - your pics and notes have been a real inspiration (as have Postie's from the same part of the world). On reaching the summit of Pen y Gadair Fawr last Tuesday (pics to follow) a couple arrived at the same time from the south-east. The guy threw a small stone onto the top of the cairn as he arrived, he had obviously picked it up somewhere down the hill and carried it up specifically to add to the cairn. I refrained from mentioning that they were missing the much more interesting barrow underneath all the newly added stones, but it did seem like there is a compulsion to add as well as to build walkers' windbreaks from what's already there. Off to Yorkshire this weekend, so Wales will have to wait sadly. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
19th April 2010ce
One day you, Mr G and the Postie will climb the same hill using different paths and meet at the top. That would be an interesting day! You are in fine form as are the Welsh treks and countryside. drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th April 2010ce
It could happen. Although Postie's route will be the one up a vertical ascent through a snowdrift. Reminds me of the 80s Doctor Who story The Five Doctors, where they all had to get into a tower via different routes. Jon Pertwee used a makeshift death-slide - perhaps that's Mr G's route.

Sorry, mind is wandering off into nonsense-world now...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st April 2010ce
Whistling XTC tunes, no bad thing. drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
21st April 2010ce
Roads Girdle The Globe. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st April 2010ce
Or something from an Ancient English Settlement (groan I know!!) drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
21st April 2010ce
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