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

Nant Esgeiriau

Round Cairn


It was the Coflein discription alone that inspired this summer solstice outing, there was ample parking, there was no else but me, no stone climbing hooligans and no sunshine, by 5am i was waterproofed and wellied up, the sun which had technically already risen would not appear over the mountains for another forty minutes maybe.
I started the long walk in high spirits, but wading through bracken, ferns and every species of Welsh upland fauna soon took the wind out of my sails, it was with much rejoicing that I finally came across a path, it wasnt on my map.
By now it was clear that this was all going to take much longer than I had anticipated, my wellies are good for walking over a few fields but mile after mile of this and my toes were getting sore and I was only one fifth of the way to my first target.
I left the path and headed for the corner of the foerst that leads down to the Nant Crechwyl, on my way down I came across a sheep lying down I made a noise so as not to startle it, but it didnt move so I clapped loudly, then it heard me, and then a really distressing thing happened it couldnt get up and it was lying in its own excrement
the poor sheep was obviously suffering greatly, but there was only me around and there was nothing I could do, so i left hastily trying not to distress the creature trying to get away from me.
At the bottom of the hill I crossed the small river and slowly made my way up the other side, at the top of that hill it was down and another river to cross back up to the hill that is Esgeiriau and from there we can see our destination, it had taken so long and knackered me so completely that I wondered if some hapless walker would come across my still quivering body, or worse.
Sheep and death apart, after crossing the Nant y Waun it was sunshine on a rainy day, big stones litter the hillside all around here, and the cairn is badly abused but still a great place to hang out.
Approaching it from the westish area all that is evident is the walls of an old sheepfold,I thought I'd got it wrong but upon looking over a wall there was the rest of the cairn and its hidden jewel of a still covered cist.
After a good sit down and watching three little birds (sorry i'm no ornithologist, perhaps you can tell me what it is in the picture), I walked around it clockwise of course getting a feel for it, the feeling I felt was this is great.
It would have been a big cairn if not for the walling, which i'm sure could be easily restored, and in its centre is that cist, its even got an opening to peer into or on a wet day repeatedly inserting the camera will do. The capstone is a big flatish lumpen stone, the kind weve seen on so many dolmens,just a touch smaller.
From here Pennant cairn is highly visible across the small river and up the hill but not at its top.
On a sunnyier day in appropriate footwear this would be a dreamy dreamland.
postman Posted by postman
22nd June 2011ce
Edited 22nd June 2011ce

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