The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Blaen Clydach Fach


Nearest Town:Llandovery (10km W)
OS Ref (GB):   SN86043170 / Sheet: 160
Latitude:51° 58' 17.7" N
Longitude:   3° 39' 33" W

Added by CARL

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Visited 30.9.12

Take the A40 west out of Brecon until you reach Llwel.
Then take the (military?) road north signposted Tirabad.
The cairns are on the left next to a parking / viewing spot.

*** NOTE – it appears this road is not always open to the public – depending on any military activity taking place.

Looking at the map I just assumed this was an ‘ordinary’ minor road wending it’s way through the Brecon Beacons. Upon arriving at Llwel we were confronted with a large ‘military type’ sign stating that the road is not always open to the public. A barrier was next to the road and a sign warned against the public opening the barrier if it was closed. The signs also went on to say that if the road is open all signs must be followed and that stopping on the road was strictly forbidden! Not a good start!

What also didn’t help was the fact the weather was foul. The wind was near gale force and the rain horizontal. To add to the mix the mountain mist had come down and visibility was at a premium. Despite the warning signs (and the weather) in true TMA style we (I) decided to press on regardless.

Despite the warning signs I thought it reasonable to park at the viewing area as there is a parking area, bench and one of those bronze panoramas showing what to look out for. However, it was not the view to the east that I was interested in (besides which you couldn’t actually see anything due to the mist) but the two Cairns to the west.

Next to the parking area is a metal field gate. I decided to ignore the ‘Do not enter – live firing range’ type sign and hop over the gate to look for the Cairn. Perhaps this is not the most sensible thing to do (particularly as a red flag was flying) but as the field was full of sheep and I couldn’t actually here any firing going on I thought I would be safe for a few minutes!

The sheep were doing a fine job keeping the grass down and the Cairn was easy enough to find – despite the weather! Not a lot to see – a low mound with stones sticking through the grass on its eastern side. I didn’t hang around long and quickly squelched my way back to the car.

COFLEIN states:
‘A partially disturbed cairn, 12m in diameter and 0.6m high’ (Cairn 1)

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A little to the north is Blaen Clydach Fach – Cairn 2.

This is in the next field where there are no sheep and as a result there is a lot of ‘spiky grass’ in evidence. This (and the weather which was by now getting worse) made finding the Cairn tricky. There were a couple of possibilities but I am not sure if I actually found it – not that there is much to see.

COFLEIN states:
‘A wrecked and robbed cairn, once 17m in diameter, now irregular and 0.5m high at most’.
Posted by CARL
1st October 2012ce