|Visited 28.4.2011. Leaving Pen-y-Beacon cist, the path (an alternative route for Offa's Dyke Path) drops away northwards, with the stone circle straight ahead.
The car park sits right next to the circle, undermining some of its atmosphere. As a site, it is also pretty much a ruin. But at an altitude of about 460m, with the ground falling away to the west and north, the views are breathtaking on a clear day. Just to add to the wonder of the circle's location, the Black Mountains escarpment forms the backdrop to the south.
There is probably more left of the circle than a casual glance might imply though. Next to the upright (the obvious remnant), there are a number of stones. A few yards to the immediate north, a low stump protrudes from the turf which is on a similar plane to the upright, placed with the long-side at a right angle to the arc of the circle. A further low stone stands a few yards further north along the arc, with only its top breaking the surface. Apparently inside the arc of the circle, a further two flat stones are visible, presumably moved from their original positions in the arc. A square block associated with the car park has intruded itself into the circle, just to confuse matters further.
Following the projected arc round, it is quite a large circle. As I get round to the western arc, more low stones protrude from the turf, mostly placed long-side on to the circle. A few picnicers mooch about with folding chairs, looking at me askance. But I'm not the one wandering blindly through the middle of a stone circle!
On the plus side, the car park boasts an ice cream van (I have a toffee waffle cone, since you ask).
Overall, this is a lovely setting somewhat spoilt by the proximity to the parking area. But if you can ignore that (or find it empty!), the views and sense of space hold more than enough reward.
From here I head off to the nearby Twyn-y-Beddau cairn.
Posted by thesweetcheat
8th May 2011ce
Edited 4th April 2012ce