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

Bryn y Gorlan

Stone Circle


My route from Cwmdeuddwr to the Mam Cyrmu's takes me through Lampeter.... checking the map I see I have an opportunity to check out Cerrig's stone circle upon Bryn y Gorlan, an isolated hilltop overlooking the northern end of Cwm Doethie. Hell yeah, I've wanted to come back to this wonderful valley ever since an outing up Pen y Gurnos a decade or so ago. Result! When I say 'isolated', I'm not joking, either (perhaps not in Scottish Highland terms, but certainly otherwise). Having said that, it is possible to drive the majority of the way from Llanddewi Brefi since the Youth Hostel of Ty'n y-cornel lies within the valley. I park at the access road for Blaendoithie farm and descend to the Afon Doethie on foot. Once across the bridge, I 'simply' ascend the hillside beyond, following more or less the same line.

Upon reaching the summit, however, the confusion begins.... perhaps it's tiredness, perhaps simply not having as good megalithic 'antennae' as Cerrig? To be honest there are so many orthostats of various sizes rising from the long, tussocky grass of this wild hilltop plateau that I cannot see the circle for the stones, so to speak. I check the map and take bearings.. there's no doubt I'm in the right location - give me a break - but there are many more stones here than needed for one small 'circle. I take the opportunity to head north and find several erratics (I assume) beyond an area of bog to further complicate matters! What if the others are erratics, too? I return to the summit stones and decide to simply enjoy the moment, not to mention the equisite views. Probably not to everyone's taste, I guess, but the shapely hillsides either side of the rushing Afon Doethie really are my cup of tea. Ditto the more brutal summits to the north-east.

Eventually I must leave and continue my journey to South Wales, more than a little confused by my failure to see the big picture upon Bryn y Gorlan. However I'm pleased to subsequently report that there are extenuating circumstances - as reference to the Coflein details in the Miscellaneous post will show. Something pretty important was going on upon this hilltop millennia ago. A return visit one day would be good, I guess. For now I've posted what I saw. Quite a few ancient stones...and an excellent vibe. Can't grumble at that.
26th September 2010ce
Edited 26th September 2010ce

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