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

Moel yr Eglwys



At 2,802ft this is a pretty high one, it has to be said... the funerary cairn - or rather the remains of one - crowning the northern, and higher, of Arenig Fawr's two summits. According to Coflein:

'Remains of a large burial cairn on Moel yr Eglwys, the highest summit of the Arenig Fawr ridge. Stone built and circular in shape, the cairn measures circa 1.5m in height. The edge of the cairn is marked by a low kerb, except on the E side and the kerb measures a maximum of 0.3m tall and is 12m in diameter. The cairn material has spread beyond the original circumference and now measures circa 15m in diameter - the material has been remodelled to include an Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar, a World War II United States Air Force memorial and two walkers' shelters..'

Hmm... note the reference to the USAF memorial, which, like several other Welsh sites (e.g Cefn Yr Ystrad in the Brecon Beacons) adds an extra poignancy to a visit here, a sense that perhaps we are not so really different from our Bronze Age predecessors after all... we, like them, erect memorials to our heroes upon mountain tops. The gentlemen in question died here on 4th August 1943 when their B-17F 'Flying Fortress' hit the mountain while on a night cross-country training flight. Yeah, it was men like these, thousands of miles away from home, who played a major part in preserving the freedom we take for granted. Lest we forget, they were:

Lt James N. Pratt; Lt William A. Bowling; Lt Allen M. Boner; T/Sgt Frederic J. Royar;S/Sgt Walter J. Johnston; Sgt Walter B. Robinson; Sgt Phillip Simonte; Pfc Alfred B. Van Dyke.

If you decide to come and have a look for yourself, the classic route starts from approx SH846396 to the approx north and ascends via the impressive, if initially hidden, Llyn Arenig Fawr. As you would expect for such an isolated mountain, the views are exceptional when the summit is clear. But there's a lot more to Arenig Fawr than that, as the still remaining, occasional piece of aluminium debris will testify.
9th October 2010ce
Edited 9th October 2010ce

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