Just how extreme can stone hunting get ?
I came across this site whilst cruising coflein's blue dots late one night, it can get rather addictive.
I might never have come here if not for Craig Rhiwarth(fort) and Bedd Crynddyn(barrow) across the valley, and over the hill across the valley is Glan Hafon weird cairn, they all exceeded my expectations, and the scenery is very easy upon the eye so I just had come back here one maybe two more times, high above the Tannat valley once more.
I've been sat at home the last two days nursing my poor sciatic leg, but sitting down makes it hurt more, the only relief is walking, strange that, it's like treating obesity with doughnuts, so whats good for work is also good for stone hunting, and this cairn requires some leg work, not as much as I put in, but a long walk all the same.
I parked in a parking for one spot near a big house on a bend where on the map it says Buarth Glas. Map also says there is a footpath entrance round here somewhere but I couldn't see it, so I walked down the road past the big house 'till I got to a gate going in the desired direction, up.
Following a line of trees up hill, and followed by a line of curious and tiny sheep I meet up with the north/south path that runs at the bottom of the cliffs, Craig Y Castell, obviously so named because of the well spaced towers of rock jutting out into the valley.
Heading south on the aforementioned path, with Craig Rhiwarth dominating the other side of the valley and once more showing why it was used as a fort in the Iron age, I look up between the rock spires and think I can see an easy way up, then deviate from the path without even giving it much contemplation at all, just having a closer look. Before I know it I've gone too far to turn back and keep heading up. It was mostly easy enough except for the last fifty yards, it took as long to traverse that last bit as it did the whole walk, grabbing handfuls of heather to help haul myself up, sitting out of breath every ten vertical yards, slipping, and watching two farmers talking blocking the road far below, are they watching me, to see if I fall, if i do, I wont be driving home,it's very steep, so I don't give them the satisfaction and eeeeeeventually I get to the top. I throw my self onto the soft sodden
flat hill top, reveling in it's flatness.
After what felt like longer than it probably was, it seemed I wasn't going to have a heart attack after all, and my thoughts turned back into stone hunter mode, I stood and looked across the barren moorland hill top and saw with childish glee that my shortcut had at least taken me straight to the cairn, it sat not fifty yards from me, I walked slowly over.
Coflein states that the cairn is 7.5 meters across and half a meter high, sounds about right, and "showing elements of a cist" but that sounds to me as if it's totally knackered and only a couple of telltale stones still exist, enough to say "elements of a cist". But I was pleasantly pleased to find exactly half of it left, a large rectangular box three to four feet long sunk into the ground with two side stones still in place. About six feet east of the cist is a large flat stone, after I'd liberated it from it's mossy confines I could see that it would not cover the cist, but, two would do it nicely, but there aren't two, was the other broken, or is it just a flat stone after all, or an out of place kerb stone. Talking of kerb stones the cairn still boasts some kerbing on it's north to west arc. So, it's not the biggest of cairns, but it's above the grass line, it has a big cist and even some kerbing, that's a good cairn that is. And I wont go into the views much, only to say that they are good, especially to the south, and even on a dull but rainless day.
Needless to say I didn't go back the way I came, I'd give you some directions but then i'm clearly hopeless at finding the easy way. Stay on the path.
Posted by postman
5th February 2014ce
Edited 5th February 2014ce