Seven years ago I came here in high summer and though I loved the little dolmen I was frustrated by all the thick abundant plant growth, so, seeing as Ive just won round two with Parc y Llyn which is less than a mile away I decided to have another sit down with the Altar.
Driving north through Colston the place came up quicker than I was expecting, I actually remembered the bit of road that goes past the invisible dolmen, a million miles of roads traveled and I can recognize a blank country lane by nothing more than the hedge and a passing place. I parked north of the site by the high gates, climbed over them and wobbled down the slight hill over the uneven ploughed field.
I arrived at the chamber and felt gratified that I could see all the stones quite clearly, including the quartz boulder that I presume is part of the original kerbing. But just to make sure that when I photographed the stones they were as free from tangled plant blight as possible I brought my big scissors and set about the place removing as much weedy clutter as I could.
Under the capstone is still full of earth, is it just part of the bank the dolmen is now half incorporated into
or could it contain archaeological stuff. The dolmen looks like it's struggling out of the hedge, any minute now it'll topple out before me, like an embattled stonehunter struggling through head high gorse.
I don't understand how they could have put the road so close to the stones, they were just a few feet from destroying the whole thing, the fact that the chamber has survived at all should be applauded, nay celebrated.
With no car parking worries this would be a place to sit and wonder for a whole afternoon, I can imagine sitting on the cap stone and not being interrupted all day, apart from the occasional traffic just a meter away. But where such a parking place would be I haven't a clue.
From Wolf’s Castle on the main A40 follow the signs east for Little Newcastle. After stopping to look at the memorial stone on the village green to ‘Black Bart’ the famous pirate who was born here, take the minor road south. You will shortly pass a church on your right and cross over a river. As the road starts to climb you will see the drive to Whitehall Farm on your right. There is room to squeeze in here. Opposite is a metal field gate. Over the gate and follow the bank/hedgerow up the hill. The Burial Chamber will soon come into view; although largely hidden by the hedge.
It was a beautiful spring day. Not a cloud in the sky, no wind and warm sunshine.
The scenery as we drove across the bridge was one of the best I have seen. The woodland was carpeted in snow drops; an old, moss covered stone bridge spanned the babbling river – it really was a beautiful sight. Pity Karen had left her camera at home!
As regards to the Burial Chamber (I am sure of more interest to you) it was a muddy walk up the edge of the field. Although the bank/hedge/road appears to have cut the chamber in half it doesn’t overly spoil the site. A reasonably chunky capstone is supported by (I think) three uprights. Two at the front and a smaller one at the back.
Someone had left a small ‘offering’ of sea shells under the capstone. There are decent views to the east. It’s a great pity that the farmer decided that one of the supporting uprights would make a good place to wrap his barbed wire around when fencing in the field. Why he/she thought that in addition to the large bank/hedge a barbed wire fence was also required I don’t know. It is a common feature in this part of the world.
As others have said, the chamber is not visible from the road so you will have to walk into the field to have a look. The bush in front of one of the photos is thankfully no longer there.
A small amount of effort which is well rewarded.
I was spotted by a farmer driving a tractor jumping back over the gate but he didn’t stop or say anything!
A little way roughly north of the enormous Garn Turne lies this even more obscure diminutive gem of a cromlech... as the Postie says, it really couldn't be more obscure if it tried. It really couldn't.
After seeing several large tractors - or maybe the same one coming back and forth - trundling up the minor road with a giant raking apparatus attached, I decided to park at the entrance to Colston Farm to save my paintwork from further annihilation. Plenty of room here, and just a short way back down the road to the metal gate. Over this and the cute little chamber eventually materialises further downhill on the inside of the hedge. They really don't want you to find this one, do they?
Postie obviously did a good job in the Monty Don stakes, but my feeble effort will need a lot of help pretty soon to save the structure being reclaimed by the Mother. Speaking of which, I was half expecting a gathering of ancient dudes to emerge from the towering cane crop to join me for lunch, such is the ethereal nature of this spot. Then again it could have been due to a bit too much caffeine intake, I suppose.
Oh that orange lichen! Marvellous. Well worth the effort.
If Carlsberg did unfindable dolmens it'd be this one, fortunately I love dolmens and beer.
Starting at the picturesque bridge SM981284 go south and when the road goes uphill look for a farm track on your right immediatey after is a passing/parking place stop here, you wont know it but your about 6ft from the chamber.
Ten feet further north look for a standing stone set in the hedge bank and you know your there.
Now walk uphill untill reaching a large metal gate, over we go and then follow the hedge back downhill looking for a clump of bushes protruding from the hedge, it's in there.
Rediculous, utterly without feeling did they treat this cute little dolmen, the road is less than a foot away the hedge and its bank goes right over/through it and whats left is at the mercy of brambles, bracken and young trees.
That said I was pleased to find it looking almost intact, inside the chamber is soil upto one foot away from the underside of the capstone. It has what looks like curb stones on its northern side,
one of which is a big quartz boulder. Get the time team in for gods sake. I pulled away a lot of the brambly stuff to better understand the place but it needs more than one bloke with only an hour to spare. Standing on the capstone one can see the car parked right next to it, its funny here, Ive never seen such a stealth dolmen,on one side of the hedge and it's "wow look at that" ,6ft the other side of the hedge and it's "what dolmen, watch out for the tractor".