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

Cefn Glas



Sometimes it rains in Snowdonia. No, really, it does. But there's rain, and then there's proper North Walian rain, the sort which appears to defy Newton's laws by rising straight out of the ground... Needless to say today features very much the latter. Time to delve into the 'bad weather list', then.

All this water (apparently) falling from the skies does have some benefits, however. Apart from being the fountain of all life on Earth - a small point - I would be very surprised if any traveller could gaze down at the foaming Afon Llugwy from Pont Cyfyng and not utter an involuntary 'I say, that's rather splendid'. OK, perhaps that's a little self censored, but this is a family web-site after all. And there's more where that came from.... park just south of the bridge and walk back down the road to the old chapel and you'll locate a rocky track (public footpath) climbing the wooded hillside beside several cascading streams. I follow this and eventually emerge from the trees onto the open moor... and into the full fury of the weather. Hell, the conditions are truly atrocious, but, to be fair, even I can't exactly get lost here. Although whether I'm following a track or stream bed is perhaps a moot point. Crossing a crossroads - as you do - (the right hand track is private, leading to a quarry, according to a sign daubed in white paint on a boulder) my own quarry, the large Bronze Age cairns of Cefn Glas, are soon visible to the left, beyond a stile.

The setting, clearly wild and uncompromising on the best of days, is positively 'otherworldly' this morning. Assuming it is morning. Hard to tell, what with the mist. Of Moel Siabod there is no sign, just a wall of swirling vapour to the east, from whence horizontal shafts of water slam into my back without pause. Which might have been a downer if the cairns had have been rubbish. Luckily they are not. Oh no... Of the pair, the southern monument is by far the larger and more impressive, utilising the slope of the landscape to great effect and boasting a well preserved, albeit open, cist, one side panel of which has collapsed into the horizontal plane. The northern cairn is smaller and somewhat trashed in comparison, yet also contains a surviving cist, home to a rather annoyed frog. I assume the annoyance is with me and not the very 'frog-friendly' conditions. Luckily for him I'm not French and make do with some rather soggy chicken tikka thingies for lunch. Curiously there is a large glacial erratic beside this cairn. Whether this influenced the siting of the monument or not we'll clearly never know.

To be honest I found these 'Blue Ridge' cairns a treat to visit. With Moel Siabod rising above on a clear day to add that extra dimension, they may well blow you away, metaphorically speaking, without having to endure such extreme conditions. Then again it's hard to have a more 'authentic' Snowdonian experience than today. Incidentally the map shows hut circles some way to the north of the cairns. Huh, perhaps I mistook them for ponds.....
24th November 2010ce
Edited 24th November 2010ce

Comments (2)

Great read Gladman .. could almost feel the rain. Did your feet get wet? tjj Posted by tjj
24th November 2010ce
No June. Gortex lining. But it found its way through my ageing jacket in the end. Wouldn't have it any other way... we need to be shown how insignificant we are (at least) once in a while. Even the best stuff we can produce is no match for the mountains if they really want to let rip. GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
25th November 2010ce
You must be logged in to add a comment