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


Graig Lwyd

Ancient Mine / Quarry

<b>Graig Lwyd</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Penmaenmawr (1km N)
OS Ref (GB):   SH717749 / Sheet: 115
Latitude:53° 15' 18.76" N
Longitude:   3° 55' 24.33" W

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North Walian travellers looking for a 'ritualistic quarrying vibe' similar to that seemingly prevalent upon the utterly wondrous Langdale Fell should perhaps look elsewhere.... albeit (arguably) in vain. Sadly the ravaged headland of Graig Lwyd isn't going to soothe a ragged psyche in need of sedation. Quite the reverse. In fact I'd wager a shiny brass farthing that any TMA'er standing upon this coastal summit will experience thoughts of sedition against a society that cares so little about our ancient heritage. Can we be blamed for the security of ignorance, as Dave Gahan once crooned?

Yeah, the outlook from the top to the coast is not a pretty sight, looking out across Conwy Bay toward the lowlands of Anglesey. This negative perception is nothing to do with the enigmatic Ynys Mona of course; but rather the inevitable result of devastation wrought by modern man's insatiable desire to rape the landscape regardless of cost. The thought arises... oh dear... 'but hold on though, were not our prehistoric forebears doing very much the same here, albeit on a (presumably) much reduced scale?' Does the fact that they quarried stone from this very hillside to fashion exquisite stone implements make their actions any more worthy? Hmm. Guess it rather depends upon how the individual views the importance of scale of operations, amongst other things. Is a red kite 'better' than a crow just because there are less of them? Is it moral that familiarity breeds contempt? My ignorance duly exposed, I defer such ponderings for another day when I've some evidence to deliberate. Perhaps there is an axe to grind here, perhaps not? But, as of old, that is probably best done down below.

The summit of Graig Lwyd is girdled by pretty substantial drystone walling. However, upon clambering up from the exquisite Cefn Coch cairn to the south, I find a gate which allows access. Whether the landowner has issues with the odd (or not so odd, depending on your point of view) person having a look to see if they can make out the cairn and settlement depicted on the map I'm afraid I can't say... since he sped by on a quad bike before I could ask the question. For the record I located the settlement (quite substantial but apparently Roman, at least according to Coflein), but not the cairn. Nevertheless I'm happy that I can declare, in the immortal words of Max Boyce, that 'I was there' to witness the extraordinary continuity of human industry. One also wonders why Romans / Romano-British saw fit to seek accommodation here? Quarrymen, or attracted by that 'ritualistic quarrying vibe'?

Curiosity sated, I turn toward the much more aesthetically pleasing southern aspect and note what appears to be a fine arc of kerbing below at Cors y Carneddau. Worth a look? You betcha.
30th January 2014ce
Edited 1st February 2014ce


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BBC Welsh Timeline - The stone axes of Graig Lwyd 2500 BC

A brief description of the axe factory and the surrounding area
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
17th November 2005ce