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Llech-y-Drybedd

Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech

<b>Llech-y-Drybedd</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (25.9.2014)
Also known as:
  • Llech-y-tribedd
  • Llech-y-Dribedd
  • the Altar Stone
  • Samson’s Quoit
  • Llech-y-Tripedd

Nearest Town:Cardigan (8km ENE)
OS Ref (GB):   SN101432 / Sheet: 145
Latitude:52° 3' 14.81" N
Longitude:   4° 46' 12.2" W



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Fieldnotes

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Visited 30.6.10.
Penlan farm is not signposted from the main road but there is a public footpath sign. Take the turning up the concrete track but DO NOT drive any further up the track when the concrete section ends as the road is extremely rutted – you would need to be driving a 4x4 or tractor (not sure if my little Fiesta has recovered yet?!). Walk up to the field the Dolmen stands in (on your right) which is easy to identify as there are metal steps into the field! The Dolmen is only a little way into the field and has the usual large chunky capstone seen in this area. The capstone is high enough to crouch under. Fairly easy to access although I would suggest leaving your car on the main road and walking all the way if you have a decent car which you don't want 'tested'.
Posted by CARL
8th July 2010ce

This is a cromlech in the Carreg Samson style – an outrageous fat capstone on tiny uprights about 3ft tall. The northern upright has a serious crack in it, apparently from recent-ish fire damage.

The capstone, like many in the area, has a sheer flat (tooled?) end to it, giving it a fat spearhead D-shape. Although the underside is roundedly level, the top is a sheer flat face tilting at 45 degrees.

Ten inches or so of discernable mound surrounds the monument.

The site has a tremendous high-up feeling. The view out is of the huge sweep of Mynydd Preseli to the south, a glimpse of Bae Trefdraeth/Newport Bay to the west, the imposing whoop-up of Carn Ingli between the two and just in view to the north is the shimmering expanse of the open sea.

Children & Nash (1997) say that a 1693 description reports the nearby fallen upright as still in place.

The Modern Antiquarian's note that it's 'difficult to find even when you've been there several times' is just plain wrong. On the coast road between Trefdraeth/Newport to Trewyddel/Moylgrove, follow the concrete track on the south side signposted Penlan Farm. After it turns to gravel, keep going for 500m, then it turns sharp left. The cromlech is about 200m further on over a stile in a field on your right.

Penlan Farm also offers B&B facilities, by the way.

visited 19 Aug 04
Posted by Merrick
7th September 2004ce

Driving out in the blazing sunshine (again! yippee!) towards the soaring, dramatic cliffs of Ceibwr Bay we called in here. It lies up a track leading towards Penlan farm. You have to hold your nerve as you drive up the deeply tractor-rutted track and pray the undercarriage of your car isn’t removed by the central raised strip! Fearing it would be, we parked at a point wide enough to let a tractor through and got out and walked the last few hundred metres. Although it’s on private land, the construction of a wooden stile implied it was OK to go and view it. The great thick capstone, resembling a grand piano, is held up by only three of the five stones and looked a little precarious, but we liked this very much.

If you do get here, I urge you to continue on to Ceibwr Bay, 2 kms up the lane, where we sat blinkingly in the brightness, cooled by the breeze which whipped up great waves crashing into the wild contortions of the black slate cliffs. The cliffs were topped with grassy green ‘icing’ and great patches of pink sea thrift. See it!
Jane Posted by Jane
2nd June 2003ce

Visited 5th October 2002: After Carreg Coetan Arthur the setting for Llech-y-Tripped was a refreshing change. The cromlech nestles in the corner of a field, high on a ridge overlooking the mountains. The sea is really close, but this site definitely isn't orientated towards it.

There's no signage at any point from the road, but the sturdy looking (and unusual) stile into the field where the cromlech sits suggests that public access is allowed. The stones are easy to see from the track. This site is obviously not visited as much as it's suburban neighbour, but it's such a big beauty of a cromlech. I'd certainly recommend a visit.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
6th November 2002ce
Edited 22nd December 2003ce

Visited this place one evening, nobody around, no sound but the distant bleating of lambs on a far hillside.
Absolute magic.
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
30th March 2002ce

Folklore

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Curiously, no one yet seems to have mentioned the story behind the name of the stones. So here it is:
Llech y Drybed is another name for a cromlech in Pembroke; but it appears to be purely descriptive; for the trybedd, or trivet, was a utensil used for holding pans and kettles over a hearth fire; and this stone, poised on three others, has been thus designated from its resemblance to the domestic tripods, which are probably still in use in those parts of Wales where coal and grates are unknown, or unusual.
p106 in 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' v2 s3 (1856).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th October 2007ce

According to Barber & Williams (1989), legend says the stones were hurled into its present position by Samson from the peak of Carningli. This may be a folk-memory indicating that there was some deliberate orientation on Carningli, or some other ritual connection between the two sites; perhaps even a physical connection if it was the source of the stones. Posted by Merrick
7th September 2004ce

Miscellaneous

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If you see any little scrapey areas on here..
Llech Y Drybedd, about two and a half miles north-east of Nevern church, on Tre Icert farm. It is supported upon three short upright stones. The incumbent stone is of a bluish, or a hone-colour [sic], hue, and knives and penknives are sharpened upon it.

..In a field on the west there is a stone called Maen y tri-etivedd, the stone of the three heirs.
p374 in 'Archaeologica Cambrensis' s1, v2, 1847.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th October 2007ce
Edited 24th November 2007ce

No-one seems to have mentioned it yet, but it's been suggested that like Pentre Ifan, the outline of the capstone seems to mimic the outline of Carn Ingli behind the monument. Kammer's photo here
http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/8128/images/llechytripedd.html
might convince you.
Perhaps local awareness is the source of Merrick's folklore - that St Samson threw the stones from Carn Ingli.

(this idea is suggested in ch6 of Alasdair Whittle's 'The Archaeology of People' (2003))
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th May 2007ce
Edited 27th May 2007ce