Easy to spot from the road going across Gelligaer Common – just head for the trig point.
The cairn is quite large, about 15 metres in diameter and 1 metre high. In the centre is a stone lined cist and a large oval capstone – moved to one side. The cist was full of snow so only the top edges could be seen. Apparently the cist was robbed about 300 years ago. The remains of urns and burnt bones were found along with a beaker, flint tools and a bronze dagger. The cairn is dated to about 2000 – 1450BC.
About 25 metres north of Carn Y Bugail is another smaller cairn about 5 metres across and 0.5 metres high. The capstone is quite large, being about 1 metre x 1.5 metres. There were 3 sides of the cist visible – also full of snow.
Unfortunately there is a Trig point slap bank in the middle of the cairn and to make matters worse, it looks like the site is being used as some sort of unofficial scrap yard! There were bits of car, smashed windscreen, bits of metalwork and a large sack full of dismantled kitchen units! Why do these people do this? Why drag all this rubbish up the side of a hill when it would be much easier to dump it next to the road? Even better of course would be to take it to the council dump! Such a shame.
I visited this site a couple of years ago. I parked on the grass verge of the road which runs across Gelligaer Common and headed straight uphill towards the trig point. The things I remember most about my visit oddly enough is that a 'tramp' was living in a self made tent right next to the cairn and I found a pair of pink lacy knickers on one of the stones! I also remember that it was raining with a cold, biting wind. My CADW magazine states that this is 'one of the most spectacular Bronze Age sites in South Wales' and who am I to argue? I was planning a return visit this weekend but that plan fell foul of the weather – fog to be precise. I will report back with a more detailed site description when I next get chance to visit Gelligaer Common.