Barely more than a week after my first failure here, I'm back for another go at this elusive cairn and cist. Once more I drive up through the forest on a very rough track, hairpin right turn, then a long looping left bend, the map shows a footpath running through here, couldn't see it last time and I couldn't find it this time, it has, most regrettably, gone.
So I end up having to park in the same place as I did last time, but I now know where the stream is, and to turn left there. The cairn is, map says, in between the stream and the footpath, I've already verified that the footpath has now gone, so I follow the mountain biking path to said stream , turn left and make my appearance on the large clearing seen on maps and google earth.
What an unpleasant place this is, absolutely dreadful, just awful, let me explain. It's not Wales' fault, that's to be sure, they put up a forest here, and then reaped it completely, I've seen what the earth looks like after they've taken all the trees, like a hundred bombs went off, like the Somme without the bodies, sorry, but it's just that bad, with tall grass all over it, at times chest height, holes that are leg deep, streams pass by heard but unseen, it is very slow going, nay it is a dangerous place to walk/wade.
Needless to say, that after two hours of solid swearing at the ground I failed to find it again, it's not big to start with, only ten feet wide and zero feet high, but the cist in the middle should be visible, V.P.Williams or maybe F.Foster from Coflein was there in March 2006, so I'm a bit stumped. I found a couple of likely looking maybe cairns, but both were too high and no cist. I looked under trees, I looked at all the grassy bits, all the stones, anything that peaked my curiosity got a good staring at, but, in the end I had to admit defeat. So I slumped onto the ground on what wasn't a cairn, and stared intently at the Snowdonian view north and west, it is a very good vantage point to see all the big mountains, on that ground alone I am still convinced there is a cairn with a cist up here somewhere. But in the back of my mind I remember that were all human and prone to making mistakes now and then.
Back down by the stream I start looking in a place I know the cairn not to be, but the hillock had short grass and some stones were visible, so I had a look, and found a low wall, with a horseshoe shaped open enclosure built into the lower end, I dont know what it is , but it's not a cairn with a cist in it, I decide to ask coflein when I get home, perhaps I can pin down the cairn if I know exactly where this "thing" is. I did, it's not on there.
If someone else finds this cairn before me I'll drop me pants on Burton's corner on Saturday afternoon.
Coflein says this
Remains of a small cairn on the bare mountain pasture called Iwerddon. The cairn is 10 feet across with a cist at its centre. The cist measures 48" in length by 28" in width, oriented north-west/south east, with the two side slabs of stone and one end slab still in situ. The site shows signs of having been robbed in the past.
So I gave it a go.
A small road leads north west from Penmachno passing as it does Ty Mawr farmhouse, birthplace of Bishop Morgan, the translator of the first complete Welsh Bible, published in 1588. But before you get to that place, there is a large clearing amid the trees east of the road, the cairn with cist is in that clearing. The going looked pretty hard, and with two soft footed townies in tow I decided we might get closer to the cairn if we could find a way through the forest. There was indeed a way through the forest, after what seemed like too long we found a parking place in the forest next to a sign saying Iwerddon 2.6miles, bingo, I thought, and off we went down this really thin path through dense forestry plantation. Dodging as we went mountain bikers with insanely good balance, I'd have fallen off a dozen times, but none of them did, we kept going on the path, with nothing more to entice us on than a fine view of Moel Siabod with Tryfan over it's right shoulder.
The path was really taking too long to take us into the large clearing where the cist is, so I decided to scramble through, pick a way through the tightly packed trees as soon as I could see daylight through them. Once into the clearing, I was shocked and appalled to see that we were all the way back nearly to the road, massive sighs of disappointment, we had passed by the cist by not much more than a hundred yards but with no way to get to it. I was pondering what to do, we could slowly walk back up the hill, but the ground was horribly uneven with huge tussocks of grass, if we'd gone up the hill and maybe found the cist we might not have been able to relocate the car, just as I was pondering our predicament, Eric's mate said something really stupid and annoying which I can not reproduce here, it annoyed me so much the answer of what to do resolved itself for us, time to go, quit this place and find somewhere else easier to find.
I would have gotten away with it too if not for these meddling kids.