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

Eglwys Faen



I wonder how the site of the cairn might relate to its landscape. 'Eglwys Faen' means 'Stone Church' and is the name of a big cave in the limestone cliffs immediately below. There is an extensive cave system under here (and shake holes above) - you can read all about it here. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th January 2011ce
Edited 10th January 2011ce

Comments (5)

Blimey, you were quick off the mark with this Rhiannon! The cliffs below are pretty formidable, and there have been finds that indicate paleolithic occupation.

As to the battle, I think the two cairns referred to are probably the large ones on Twr Pen-cryn rather than this one, as they are the most prominent on these hills, and Coflein even has an entry for the battlefield:
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th January 2011ce
I believe that the sweetcheat is probably right about the cairns close to the battle site, about 1 klm S/E from this one.
The cave situation is a little more complex, as there are many caves under these moors, and some are very extensive and interconected.
The one under this particular cairn is Eglwys Faen cave. It has several entrances, and is even suitable for beginners to explore with care. Although , the three teenager's I once bumped into, in the far reaches of this cave , who had one cheap hand torch between them, and no helmets, and no map either, makes me wonder about some peoples sanity. To get to where we met they had to pass an assault course of obstacles, including flat crawls and climbs through boulder chokes, and narrow passages with 20 foot drops. All of this in a cave system they didn't know , with one dodgey light betwen them, and they declined my offer of my spare lamp as well. Thankfully they got away with it. ( there have been fatalities in these caves, though not in Eglwys Faen. There was a wedding here once )
The cave underneath the battle site is Daren Cilau, definitely not a beginners cave, and is the one featured in Rhiannon's link. Thing's have changed a little as far as cave sizes are concerned since that article was written, and there are now bigger passages known about. The world of cave exploration is a very competitive one, and new discoveries are made regularly.
Most of the caves in the area were uncovered by the limestone quarrying of the last few hundred years, so they probably were'nt occupied beforehand, although Eglwys Faen could be an exception to that.
Posted by cerrig
10th January 2011ce
This is fascinating (just had a look at Rhiannon's link). Cerrig I enjoyed reading your post a lot. Just before Xmas I read the children's story "The Wierdstone of Brisingamen" by Alan Garner; the chapter when the children, along with their two friends, have to find their way out of a series of hazardous, watery tunnels and caves was very much as you descibed above. Fact is so often stranger than fiction. tjj Posted by tjj
10th January 2011ce
Ooh excellent stuff. I'll move the bit about the battle tsc, that's good that you know what it's talking about. I have no excuse for being so quick off the mark other than obsession and boredom with snooker on the tv, and the name intrigued me. Cerrig's story about the teenagers in the cave makes me feel a bit ill. I can understand the attraction of caving because the idea of these weird places underground exerts a pull on my brain. But I am far far too cowardly to want to wriggle through squashy dark places, it is a terrifying thought. And the cave bit of Garner's book is the bit that sticks in my mind too, tjj. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th January 2011ce
Apparently, the wedding took place in Eglwys Faen's main chamber, and the bride looked lovely in her white dress, and wellies!! Posted by cerrig
10th January 2011ce
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