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

Maen Hir, Glan Fedwen

Kerbed Cairn


Blimey. This is a turn up for the books, or what? I awake to a dry morning near Blaen y Cwm, the point where the Afon Ystwyth begins its turbulent descent to Cwm Ystwyth to the west. A favourite location, it must be said. The shapely ridge of Esgair Elan, forming the southern flank of the pass, momentarily entices, but I must resist those elegant curves! Instead I decide upon a quick climb upon Craig y Lluest to the north for a monumental view into the valley, promptly being lifted bodily by the severe gale force winds as I leave the lee of the hill... Hmm. Upon the return I suddenly notice what appear to be several massive cairns near the forestry upon Cistfaen, to the north of Glan Fedwen. Haven't noticed those before.. I check the map. Oh well, Cistfaen it is, then.

I clamber up the south western flank of the aforementioned Glan Fedwen, quite a substantial hill as it happens, with superb retrospective views, and suddenly come to a dead stop, gobsmacked. For here, unmarked on any map I've seen of the area, stands one hell of a large kerbed cairn, its stones glistening in the sunshine. Well I never did. It's true, I never did. How can something like this have escaped everyone's attention - not least mine for all these years - particularly being only a little out of sight above the road? I mentally search for reasons.... field clearance? Pull the other one! Walker's cairn? Ha! Give me a break. No, this is the real deal all right. No question of that [see Coflein post for confirmation].

And what a landscape position, too, looking towards the 'jaws' between which flows the Afon Ystwyth. Classic. What's more, there are several smaller cairns in the near vicinity. I do believe here we have ourselves an unmarked prehistoic cairnfield. Right on!

To the north I can see - or more correctly, THINK I can see - the burial cairns upon the hill of Cistfaen, this time actually depicted upon my 1:50k map. I shall continue and visit these, too, as planned. But what a way to start.
25th September 2010ce
Edited 25th September 2010ce

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