I arrived at 03.45 am, the birds were singing for all they are worth, the all night afar glow of summer solstice was in the sky, and all was right with the world. The stones seemed to glow in the darkness, giving back the light absorbed in the day, (I know). the fence around it has gone, but the greyhound got out years ago. Photographing stones in very low light is a right pain, I wish i'd known at school what I know now, I would have got a plan, you would know me. But I didn't and you won't, and this is the best I can do.
As myself and Karen had managed to get a weekend away on the Great Orme it would have been a shame not to re-visit this site.
Unfortunately the donkeys are no longer in the field (apparently a baby donkey had arrived and so many people visited it caused parking problems for the residents!). The chap who owns the noisy, barking dogs told us that the donkeys had been taken elsewhere.
The wooden fence surrounding the tomb has all but fallen apart but most alarming was a sign in the tomb warning people against any more digging as the site is protected. I couldn't see any sign of digging but it is a worry.
The tomb itself is exactly the same as my last visit and is certainly worth a look when visiting the copper mines (which incidentally was shut this time of year).
Directions: After visiting the Great Orme Mine, take the first turning right coming back down the steep hill (Cromlech Road). There is room to park near the houses and there are convienient wooden steps into the field. A sign states that there is public access to the Burial Chamber only.
When I visited there were 3 donkeys in the field and thankfully no sign of the dogs. The donkeys were quite funny as one came over for me to make a fuss of and then the other two did the same not to miss out! I noticed that the wooden fence surrounding the chamber had been mostly chewed away by the donkeys - or is that the dogs?!! Still, worth a visit when seeing the nearby mines as it is so close and easy to get to.
The donkeys are still there, and so are the dogs, Huskies by the look of them but they were mercifully quiet. The place does look like its all going to fall apart at any minute, I don't know if the big stoney mound that the chamber partly sits on and in is part of the chambers mound or if it's just a natural outcrop. (edit: it is)
Standing on the mound with the mines just a hundred yards away and the chamber right behind you is it obvious to assume the occupant/s of the Greyhounds lair were big cheeses at the mine, what did they do? what was there role in the mine ?
Went on holiday to Llandudno dozens of times as a child, now were planning a return in the summer, what goes around comes around.
We had ended up at the Great Orme unprepared; having spent the previous day in Chester and being horrified by its "Boozed Up Britain" feel on a Friday evening, headed off to N Wales to escape the drunken hordes. We didn't have our usual array of OS maps, walking boots and waterproofs and only had a couple of hours to spend, so couldn't do any real stoning, so this was an unexpected delight!
Having been blown away by the copper mines, we were then let through a gate and pointed in the right direction of this broken but beautiful site; all glimmering white stones under blue skies(and 2 donkeys for company!) it was just lovely.
'The Lair of the Greyhound Bitch'. Appropriately enough, the house next door had a yard full of dog shit and a pack of hounds who barked long and loud on our arrival. In addition, the throb of bitchin' rap emanated forth - rather distracting in the otherwise secluded and peaceful setting of this small dolmen.
Unfortunately, the diminutive chamber is crumbling slowly away, much like a piece of Cheshire cheese. Enough remains to reveal what a charming structure it was, and happily, it is obviously looked after, as a helpful tourist information board is stationed nearby. The puddingy stone put me in mind of Carreg Samson, although there was no variation in the stones used here.
With its capstone in place, it would probably have appeared more dramatic, but sadly this broke in three or four pieces a while ago, and the chunks now lie where they fell. Remarkably, although access is very easy via the solid purpose built ladder at the foot of 'Cromlech Road' (big help, that), the site is very clean and tidy. I expected it to be 'The Lair of the Burberry Chavs', but there was not an empty bottle of White Lightening in sight.
Moth and Jane reckon that in its hey-day, Lletty'r Filiast would have been a similar size to Hetty Peglar's Tump, which mean it would have been a seriously important site. Its position so close to the Copper Mines (just a few hundred yards above), is also interesting. It wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped, but pleasant. At least Jane was bewitched, finding herself reluctant to leave.
Just 50ms from the great open gash of Great Orme copper mines, down at the end of Cromlech Road is what is left of Llety'r Filiast burial chamber, standing in a field by some houses one of which is clearly inhabited by a dog-lover.
The chamber is exposed and quite trashed with half its capstone broken off, pieces of rock strewn about. But it still stands, supported by great flat slabs upon which grows great white blotches of lichen. Stretching out behind it rises a massive tump of cairn material. No doubt the people who were laid to rest here were those from the mining community who worked the awesome*(!) copper mines just beyond.
Moth and treaclechops didn't like it as much as I did. I loved it. I felt a real sense of connection with the people who build the monument because the fruits of their day-to-day labours were still visible at the mine. These were people who founded the first great British industrial revolution.
We bumped into a guy who lived on Cromlech Road who showed us the chamber.. he said something about cromlechs and dolmens and one of them has a ring of timbers around, thats how to tell the difference? something like that....
He had some ace pictures of down the Orme mine before you had to pay to go in.
Crazy guy whose breath smelt of windolene.......
The large mound of this ruined Cromlech can be seen quite clearly from the Great Orme Mine. The field is private so there is no direct access from the mine, the only way to get here is to go into the village and find 'Cromlech Road', which leads to a stile and the Cromlech itself, which is clearly marked open to the public. The chamber is ruined, but enough stones are still standing to make this an impressive monument.
BEWARE On leaving the site we were chased by a huge angry dog, belonging to the people living in the house nearest to the cromlech. They made no effort to contain the beast, so it's safe to assume that they don't like visitors!
This is one of a few tombs in North Wales to have a name from folklore. 'Llety'r Filiast' means 'Lair of the Greyhound Bitch', a name shared with several other tombs in Wales. There is no surviving story to explain it.
An old photo of 'Llety-y-filiast' by Alvin Langdon Coburn. Sadly it's undated, but was probably taken in the first half of the 20th Century. As an interesting point of contrast compare Coburn's photo to this one by IronMan: