This is a really lovely place to visit - very atmospheric. A 2 minute walk from the layby, opposite a bungalow. There is a nice new slate sign which states the circle was errected between 2,300 - 1,200 BC. When visiting don't forget to look out for the two standing stones a short distance from the circle to your right. One is about 6ft high, the other about 5ft ish. Please try to visit this site is you are able. Well worth a visit.
No problem parking, theres room for a whole hoard of megaraks (what do you call a group of megalith hunters?)
A cold and frosty morning, and since the glorious sunrise at Pentre Ifan a half hour ago the sky has really turned quite dark. Gors Fawr couldnt be any easier to find just walk from the car towards the mountains and you cant miss it.
Sixteen stones in all some fallen some still tallish and proud, some stones have that nice thick grass, some have a gorse bush and one or two have frozen pools round them.
Its a perfect place, the very short grass, ease of access, the view, and the perfect little circle, all contribute to making it a very good place to be, with a hint of Cornwallyness to them.
The pair of tall stones to the north east are a bit of a conundrum, are they explicitly connected to the circle?, are they the same age? which came first. Mysteries are good, far better than the simple truth, they say the truth will set you free,
but how free do you feel?
The only truth you need to know is that the Preseli's are a mysterious and beautiful place, best appreciated from places like Gors Fawr.
Visited 20th and 21st June 2004: After Moel Drygarn we went to pay our respects to Gors Fawr with some good friends who'd not been before. It was fun showing them round in the sunshine, collectively anticipating the Solstice dawn.
We spent the night in a static caravan at Trefach Campsite and headed back to Gors Fawr to see the Summer Solstice sun rise. There were a handful of people there, including two women who appeared to have spent the night in the circle in sleeping bags (madness!). Sadly it was not to be. Clouds obscured the view to the east, but it was good to be there so early and get a feel for the site in the eerie dawn light. Then it was back to the caravan for a celebratory fry up breakfast!
A few days later, my fabulous mother had joined us (unfortunately, my enchanting sister was unable to do so), and she and Jane and I went out for a brief megalith one evening. We had very good light as we drove over the Preselis (again, along the B4329, with it's dramatic view, just as lovely in the sunshine), and to Gors Fawr, the only stone circle in the area. This small and discreet circle isn't easily obvious from the road, primarily due to the proliferation of gorse bushes surrounding it, lovely as they are in their golden splendour at this time of year.
Nonetheless, after a short walk along the footpath, we could see the short, dumpy stones appear. It's a pleasant enough circle, but again, what was so dramatic was its location. The broad moorland spread before us for some distance, and then suddenly swept up to become Mynydd Bach – truly impressive. I tried to visualise what the view must have looked like when the circle was constructed, but feel that the barren slopes we see today offer more drama and sobriety. By now, the clouds were building, and the sun was playing hide-and-seek with me, providing even more dramatic shadow when it appeared. I'm not sure if I got the shot I wanted, despite being there for some time.
Visited 19th April 2003: I confess this was my first visit to Gors Fawr, and it lived up to my expectations. It was really sunny, and visibility was good, so the Preseli range appeared formidable and central to the focus of the site.
The outlying stones to the north of the circle stand between it and the mountains. Beyond them (obscured by trees, gorse and buildings) are the Rhos Fach stones, which could once have been visible from the circle. Off in other directions are numerous standing stones, orientated towards the mountains. The probability that the people who erected those standing stones would have known, and possibly worshipped at Gors Fawr amazes me. The circle is a megalithic cathedral surrounded by little chapels (and gorse).
We eventually wandered over to the outlying stones, which are relatively large compared to the stones in the circle. All the gorse in the area has been grazed into topiary by the sheep (I assume) so the immediate landscape has a bit of a manicured feel to it. William seemed to like it though. When we got back to the car we found that Alfie had lost a sock (he'd been in the backpack) so I had to retrace our steps on my own. It was good to be out there without William tearing about. The place was that bit more tranquil.
Incidentally I found the missing sock, but if anyone finds a little woollen hat near Bedd Arthur please let me know.
Gorse Fawr is wildly different to the nearby Pentre Ifan, but none the worse for that. It is located in the foothills of the Preseli Mountains and can be a bit tricky to find, but it's worth the effort. With my back to the nearby lane on an overcast day the stones almost seemed to be lost in the backdrop of the mountains, but when (or if) the sun comes out it's a beautiful place.
By car it's approached down some pretty narrow lanes, which were full of 'fun runners' when I visited it, so it's worth taking your time.
The circle is just over 22 metres in diameter, and the site is made up of 16 stones in total. The two outlying stones align to the Solstice, and apparently one of them is known locally as the Dreaming Stone.
The name Gorse Fawr translated from the Welsh means big bog.