Of my trio of stoney places today this is the second place to recieve me, the one in the middle, though not a piggy, but a real gem.
Inbetween Abergynolwyn and the steam railway station less than a mile down the B4405 is a small road leading up into the hills, if the road goes over the railway track your going in the right direction. You can either park here where the sign with a crossed out car is or you can save an hour and a tedious walk through the forest by driving to within a hundred yards of this enigmatic stone. Following the track through the forest is definatly the long way but easily the quickest. The track finally ends with a small place to park two or three cars and a footpath heads west from the forest onto the hills.
To begin with Maggie and me walked within ten yards of it, the views were so immediate we went right past it and off up the hill.
By the time I decided we must have gone too far we were up on the rocky outcroppy bit, where the best views are to be had and where Maggie couldnt stop trying to drag me over to the sheep, she only wants to play, not understanding what sheep think of all dogs, so to try and dampen her spirits we go over to a couple of dead sheep in varying states of decomposition, after a quick smell and a good look she was all mine.
We sat and waited for inspiration on some rocks looking out at the mountains, as my eyes wandered this way and that, they settled on some white things below us, I'd seen them earlier but avoided them as part of maggies sheep ignoring training, then the inspiration came, whilst looking further into Mynydd Pentre on Coflein I remembered that a cairn in the vicinity was almost entirly made of quartz, this was at least a better place to start than way up here. We ran down to the white things, which soon turned into quartz boulders, and there just ten yards away was a large flat stone could this be the one, no it wasnt it didnt have any grooves or rockart of any kind so back to the quartz. The quartz boulders seem to have dragged themselves away from the cairn, which is on a knoll and mostly undercover of that nasty thick grass.
From this definate cairn it was apparently just yards to the rock art dolmen capstone, but the longer grass really hampered the stone hunt.
But after perservering for almost an hour and copiuos perspiration our wanderings paid off and I let out a loud "whoop !!" Maggie wasn't impressed.
There are more than twenty grooves cut into the stone,( which if picked up by a giant would make a good skimming stone), and at the edge of the upper surface of the stone is a worn smooth long dish shape. I dont think it is art ( and Damien Hirst isnt an artist, so what do I know) it is much more likely to be tool polishing/sharpening, what kind of tool I dont know stone or bronze, can bronze be sharpened on a rock ?
On firmer ground, the incised stone sits flatly on another stone which Coflein suggests could be a dolmen capstone, is the rest of it still there underneath it or has it been taken from a dolmen and brought here, I still dont know even after trying to reach my hand underneath it, Dolmens dont usually have two capstones,
very mysterious, wheres time team when you need them digging up some samian ware no doubt.
Whilst trawling through coflein I came upon this
interesting sounding cairn, it's now on the list of places to go.
Cairn consisting of two very large slate slabs sitting on top of one another. The top stone is at least 1.8m long and 0.8m wide with possible polished stone axe grooves or incised rock art. The rock art consists of approx. 20 incised lines, 'v' shaped in profile and roughly 5-8mm deep and between 10cm-30cm long. 5 other quartz blocks are placed around the slab. Cairn is situated on a knoll with views to the sea and up the valley. Might be capstone of dolmen?