After a big climb up Arenig Fawr, we had time to spare so we decided a stop off here at Branas Uchaf would be a good end to the day, but it was getting late and would most likely be dark when we get there. But no matter how little we could see, or how hard the camera would have to work, it's usually better to be there than not, if it wasn't then you'd have to say that blind people should never go to some stones, they should.
We parked right next to the fence, ignoring my previous fieldnotes, but it was late, we hadn't come across other drivers on the way here, nor did any come by whilst we were there. Not springing lightly over the stile we ambled over, in the way that only someone whose just climbed a mountain can.
No time at all later and we were on the mound touching stone, which is nothing at all like stroking wood. My camera was the worst at penetrating the darkness, until I pointed it at something nearer then point back at the stones and keep real still. Presently, it's started raining, very lightly, but the only evidence of the sparkly sky water was when the flash went off, I thought I was seeing things at first, had an aneurysm decided to pop now ? here ? as good as place as any to go I thought. But it was just rain.
I enjoyed this little night time visit, it was funny coercing the camera into action, stumbling around in the darkness it reminded me of playing football in the dark when I were a lad. Good times.
I left Karen and the children in the caravan early evening in order to get out and do a bit of ‘old stoning’. It was a lovely late summer’s evening and the sun was shining through the trees as I drove along the narrow lanes. The minor roads around here are particularly narrow with few passing places. Luckily I seemed to be the only one out and about! The scenery is beautiful and with the sun shining and empty roads it felt like being in one of those car adverts. You know, the ones where you are the only person in the country driving around!
As I approached the site I passed loads of pheasants that were scurrying around. I am surprised I don’t see more of these birds squashed on the road than I do as they have absolutely no sense at all.
The tomb is easily seen from the road and it is easy to park next to the field fence.
There is a handy stile into the field so access is not a problem.
Several cows were standing guard over the tomb but they moved away as I approached.
The first thing I noticed were the ribbons tied to the lower branches of the tree nearest Branas Uchaf – they look like they have been there for some time. Then of course there is the tomb itself. There are two large stones still standing and several large stones lying flat on the ground. The footprint of the tomb can quite easily be made out as a small rise.
This is a beautiful location (especially on an evening like today) and a place I can thoroughly recommend. If you happen to be in the area, do yourself a favour and visit this lovely place.
A truly beautiful place indeed. Try to resist parking right next to the monument as there's a much better place 50 yards down the lane.
Though there's not loads left of Branas Uchaf it's still quite impressive, the largest stone is over four feet and the whole thing sits on a mound that on the eastern side is five feet tall.
Try to combine a visit with Tyfos, Moel ty Uchaf and Tan y coed and maybe Coed y Bedo.
A large mound, with two uprights like snaggly teeth, sits in a field on the Dee floodplain. This must have been very impressive in its hey-day, but sadly has been robbed for stonework. Still lovely, though, especially under a winter sunset, while a thrush sings through the dusk.
"Only a few remnants. yet spectacular looking from the road as its the dominant feature in the field. a circular stone earth mound covered by grass with the stones exposed on the top: four flat pieces, three of which are standing, one of which is quite large; a few large stones and smaller ones scattered around. An oak tree and three Hawthorn(?) trees grow around it.
Directions: there's a lay-by off the road that runs along-side the field and a style to get over the fence"
1 June 2003