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


Gwaun Ymryson


<b>Gwaun Ymryson</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Builth Wells (10km N)
OS Ref (GB):   SO0322941117 / Sheets: 147, 160
Latitude:52° 3' 34.17" N
Longitude:   3° 24' 41.98" W

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Located some way to the (very) approx north-east of Twyn-y-Post, the cairn at SO0322941117 is the last I manage to see today, or at least positively identify. Once again it is a substantial monument, one well worth the effort in tracking down.

I approach from the great round cairn positioned upon the north-western tip of Cefn Clawdd to the south, my progress monitored somewhat warily by a small group of wild ponies. Inquisitive, at any rate. Guess they don't see many people up here, aside from the quad bike ridin' farmer.... who, incidentally, sees fit to completely blank my acknowledgement of his presence. Bad day, I guess? Whatever.

Two cairns are depicted upon the map set in a rough north/south alignment. As I approach what I assume to be the southern I'm initially a little disappointed. OK, it definitely appears to be a structured cairn... but a little small, don't you think? Jeez, talk about hard to please. In retrospect my assessment is probably a little unfair and, regardless, the cairn certainly looks the part when viewed beneath a fine cloudscape. Unfortunately I can't relate the monument to Coflein records, however.

The northern monument is much more substantial, at least in its surviving form. According to Coflein it is a "low stone cairn, 10m east-west by 8m and 0.3m high on a gentle north-facing slope" [J.J. Hall, Trysor, 13/3/09]. Once again the cairn is surmounted by a smaller stone pile raising suspicions of a former cist, perhaps? There is certainly a distinct paucity of walkers in the area. Then again what odds the local ponies have taken to cairn building? OK, I know. But looking into the eyes of those wondrous creatures the intelligence shines through, does it not? The northern outlook is one of undulating hills, that immediately across the cwm forming the bogland of Cefn Gledwen, beyond which, incidentally, is the famous Griffin Inn. So, a fine upland cairn in a great location. Can't say fairer than that.

I return to Upper Chapel via an ultimately unsuccessful 'walkabout' attempt to locate the most north-westerly cairn shown upon the map. However there is much reedy grass in evidence, so don't be too hard on me. Might have found it, might not have .... nothing seemed particularly credible, shall we say? And hey, at least I managed to find the north-western Cefn Clawdd monument. No matter, for as I begin the descent a rainbow arcs above the landscape I've just traversed. It is a spellbinding sight, rooting me to the spot. Lacking the appropriate words, here are some prepared earlier by Mr Wordsworth (but then you knew that) in lieu:

'My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is the father of Man.'

Yeah, not bad. But some things really are too magnificent to be evoked by even such as he.
29th March 2014ce
Edited 30th March 2014ce