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Aran Fawddwy

Round Cairn

<b>Aran Fawddwy</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Dolgellau (14km WSW)
OS Ref (GB):   SH86272238 / Sheets: 124, 125
Latitude:52° 47' 11.71" N
Longitude:   3° 41' 11.74" W

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Fieldnotes

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At 2,969ft, Aran Fawddwy is perhaps one of the least known of Wales' major mountains...and all the better for it. It also possesses an added bonus - for confirmed stoneheads, that is - in the form of a large Bronze Age cairn upon the summit, towering above the still waters of Creiglyn Dyfi (the source of the Dovey River, no less).

To quote Coflein: "Remains of a large cairn located on the summit of Aran Fawddwy. The cairn is stone built and measures up to 16m in diameter and up to 4m in height. An Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar has been erected on the E side of the cairn"

Although having suffered in the usual manner over the centuries (count 'em!) it remains an ethereal, evocative spot. And then there's the views...............

In my opinion best approached from the beautiful Cwm Cywarch to the south - take care with your parking, however. Last time I was here (October 08) I parked on a lovely green bit of grass and promptly got seriously bogged down. Muppet.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
20th July 2009ce

Folklore

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There's some stoney folklore for this area (and shape changing animals of various colours). But you'll have to ask GM if he sat on any big blue stones.
[Saint Tydecho,] upon a quarrel between him and Emyr Llydaw (i.e., Emyr, King of Armorica) he came over to Mowddwy and built a temple (teml) there, and kept a good house; that his bed was the blue rock on the side of the valley, and that he wore a hair coat (pais rawn), and was a confessor.

Maelgwn Gwynedd, in the heat of his youth, sent his horses and dogs to be fed by his prayers. Tydecho turned them loose into the mountain; and when they were fetched, though it had been cold winds and hoar frost, they were found fat and strong, and their white colour changed into a gold colour. Maelgwn Gwynedd, provoked at this, took away Tydecho's oxen; but the next day deer instead of oxen were found in his team aploughing, and a grey wolf drawing the harrow after them.

Maelgwn came with a pack of white dogs to hunt to these rocks, and sat upon Tydecho's blue stone; but when he endeavoured to get up, he found his backside was quite fastened to the stone that he could not stir, and was so obliged to make matters up with the saint. He sent back his oxen, and gave him for atonement the privilege of sanctuary for a hundred ages so that neither man nor beast could be taken from his land; no battles, or burning, or killing to be admitted there.
From Dafydd Llwyd ap Llewelyn ap Gruffydd's account, collected in Lewis Morris's Celtic Remains (1878).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th January 2014ce
Edited 10th January 2014ce

Links

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John Piper - 'Rise of the Dovey'


BBC website featuring numerous paintings and 'where to see them for real'... among them a work by John Piper focussing upon Aran Fawddwy and Creiglyn Dyfi... source of the Afon Dyfi (River Dovey).
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
7th November 2015ce
Edited 7th November 2015ce