A return visit.. without the Mam C this time.. but taking the opportunity to approach from the NW, via the fine standing stone a little south of Bwlch Cerrig Duon.
The ascent is of a far gentler gradient than that experienced from the west, although the terrain is just as rough, jarring the ankles and knees of the unwary. In short, there are no footpaths here. Striding - or perhaps more accurately, 'stumbling' - uphill from the monolith, several unusual stone features are encountered before the walkers' cairns, crowning the denuded remains of the summit round barrows, are achieved. One, in particular, looks suspiciously like an artificially placed orthostat to me [see image], although Coflein has nothing to say in this respect. Who knows?
The summit barrows, it has to be said, are distinctly underwhelming in terms of size. Not so their positionning, which is in every aspect exquisite. Bronze Age barrows also surmount virtually every other visible hill/mountain top, the ever present, decapitated tops of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du rising beyond, and to the left of, an unusually radiant Fan Gyhirych to the east. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, for across the valley to the west rise the elegant summits of Y Mynydd Du, similarly endowed, their flanks riven by deep rain water gulleys. I lie back and simply enjoy the moment, a sharp wind requiring me to retrieve a jacket from my rucksack, despite the sunshine and resultant heat enjoyed by the pic-nicking punters down below.
Descending a little to the west of the summit, the panorama is of the infant Afon Tawe, flowing towards the sea at distant Swansea (hence Abertawe, of course) from its source a little to the north-east of Llyn y Fan Fawr, with the Maen Mawr and its tiny flock splendidly sited above. The correlation between the two is obvious from up here, the fearsome gash carved by the Nant-y-Llyn, outflow of the aforementioned lake, well, dramatic to say the least. To the south, the grassy ridge of Cefn Cul leads the eye towards the Sacred Hill of Cribarth, with its attendant stone row. There is so much to take in, there really is.
So, don't ascend to the summit of Waun Leuci expecting to see any prominent megalithic cairns; there are none. What the traveller is rewarded with, however, is a sense of the 'Big Picture'. And boy, is it expansive, or what?
The sprawling mass of Waun Leuci sits between South Wales' great Mynydd Du mountain range and the Fforest Fawr to the east. The whole area is teeming with prehistoric sites - predominately hilltop burial cairns and standing stones, the best known probably being the Maen Mawr and its attendant stone circle, which oversees the Tawe Valley below to the immediate west.
Waun Leuci, at 1,844ft, doesn't quite make the 'magical' (to some, anyway) 2000ft mark but is nevertheless a fine viewpoint - a prerequisite for a burial cairn, it would seem - particularly looking across to Bannau Brycheiniog (Mynydd Du's highest point at 2,631ft) and the aforementioned stone circle. In fact the view up and down the Tawe valley is quite breathtaking.
The summit is crowned by the remains of a large Bronze Age funerary cairn and there are a number of other 'probables' nearby. Coflein states:
"..on the summit of Waun Leuci, at approximately 560m above OD., are two cairns. The southern most consists of a pile of grass-grown rubble, measuring approximately 7m in diameter and 0.7m high.."
We approached via a near vertical ascent from the west - where it is possible to park (and visit the Maen Mawr, of course). However this proved deceptively difficult due to the rough, tussocky grass. Note that there is also a fine Bronze Age standing stone below to the NW.