Next stop of the tour led us to Maen Madoc, an impressive stone which is well worth the walk.
Thanks to the recent fine weather most of the track leading to the stone was dry (a first for me) - no need for the wellies I wore then!
When we arrived at the stone the sun was in the perfect place in order to see the Latin inscription. The sun cast a shadow across the letters and it was really easy to make them out. Far easier than my previous visitis.
The sun was shining brightly, the sky a deep blue and a near full moon was also on display. The wind had eased and the temperature was warming up nicely.
Danielle was pretty much 'blown away' with the size of the stone and its inscription. A definite win-win. When passing (to visit the nearby Maen Llia) make sure you take the time to visit Maen Madoc. You won't be disappointed.
This is a cracker of a stone and well worth a visit.
Since I last visited the walk up from the road was a bit longer than I remembered (took about 20 minutes) but just as wet! Many sections of the Sarn Helen road were underwater to a depth of a couple of inches. I have been to this part of the Brecon Beacons several times in the past and one thing is for certain – it always rains so bring your wellies! As with my previous visits, I had the place to myself and you get a good feeling when walking alone in such scenery, quite therapeutic really. When approaching from the north the Latin inscription is on the far side of the stone.
Visited 4.4.2010, towards the end of a long circular walk from Maen Llia, over Fan Nedd and Fan Gyhirych then to the Beacons Way through the lovely nature reserve of Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, before joining the Sarn Helen Roman road at a ford across the Nedd Fechan, much swollen with melt water from the recent snow. By this point both my friend and I were flagging a little and time was getting on, so we didn't linger here as long as we might.
This is a lovely, slender monolith, sporting Roman inscription but surely of Bronze Age origin. The ridges to the SE are covered in an abundance of cairns. Someone has carved an anchor on it for some reason too.
After you clear the trees I suggest you carry on walking along the Sarn Helen road a little until you come alongside the stone - you will see it easily on your left next to the fance. If you go through the gate before the stone the ground is very wet and marshy - at least it was when I visited.
This stands about 1km from the road up the Sarn Helen Roman Road. Just after the trees end you will come upon it on the left. If you climb over the wooden fence just after the gate it is easy to get right up to the stone. I took a couple more pics but my finger crept over the lens, pity. It is well worth the walk and is not far from Maen Llia.
The origin of Maen Madoc is not known. According to Coflein the monolith is:
'A memorial stone measuring 2.7m high, 0.7m wide and 0.3m thick. On its narrowest, south-west, edge is the following inscription:
'DERVAC-- FILIUS/IVST - (h)IC IACIT'
The stone, having fallen, was re-erected in its present position some 5.0m to the north, in 1940. The stone is thought by some to be a burial marker, all traces of human remains having been destroyed by the acid soils of the locality. Others believe it to be a re-used prehistoric megalith.'
Maen Madoc, the standing stone's latin inscription reads: 'Of Dervacus, Son of Justus. He lies here'. This dates from the fourth century, although the stone may be much older.
It is unclear whether the romans chose to bury Dervacus at this site because their road, Sarn Helen, passed it and it was an obvious landmark, or they raised it to commemorate him. To some the inscription may negate the stone's validity as a prehistoric monument.