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




This country is well sheltered on every side (except the northern) by high mountains; on the western by those of cantref Bachan; on the southern, by that range, of which the principal is Cadair Arthur, or the chair of Arthur, so called from two peaks rising up in the form of a chair, and which, from its lofty situation, is vulgarly ascribed to Arthur, the most distinguished king of the Britons. A spring of water rises on the summit of this mountain, deep, but of a square shape, like a well, and although no stream runs from it, trout are said to be sometimes found in it.

This mountain is now called, by way of eminence, the Van, or the height, but more commonly, by country people, Bannau Brycheinog, or the Brecknock heights, alluding to its two peaks. Our author, Giraldus, seems to have taken his account of the spring, on the summit of this mountain, from report, rather than from ocular testimony. I (Sir R. Colt Hoare) examined the summits of each peak very attentively, and could discern no spring whatever. The soil is peaty and very boggy. On the declivity of the southern side of the mountain, and at no considerable distance from the summit, is a spring of very fine water, which my guide assured me never failed. On the north-west side of the mountain is a round pool [.. from which] issues a small brook [..] I am rather inclined to think, that Giraldus confounded in his account the spring and the pool together.
From Sir Richard Colt Hoare's translation of Giraldus Cambrensis's Itinerary and Description of Wales, of the 12th century.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th September 2010ce
Edited 30th September 2010ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment