We parked on the small lane south of the circle near a quarry, from here its a straight forward follow the path up to the top of the hill, it was
here that Eric said " all the way up there? no chance " and I hate to admit it, he had a point, at about four hundred metres up it was going to
take all my skills as a father,mainly bribery and black mail. Once on top of the plattau keep following the path via the stiles in the fences,
passing Cerrig Caerau stone circle, Lled Croen-yr-ych hides amongst that infernal big thick grass whos only purpose is to hide stones on
Welsh hills Gaaah a pox on it.
Though the stones are smaller than it's more megalithic cousin over the fence and half obscured by weeds they're still quite large considering
other circles Iv'e seen in mid wales, with the big stones next door it wouldn't do to have titchy stones in your circle, I really enjoyed finding
these stones and each stone individually, letting there prescence unfold and soak in as I walk the circle, which I did three times and still I can't
remember how many there were, eight maybe. But its nigh on impossible to get any more than three at a time into a photo.
Aubrey Burl says this of the circle.... The name of the ring,' the width of the ox hide', derives from a belief that this was the burial-place
of a bereaved ox. At his death his hide was stretched out and surrounded by standing stones.
Visited 8th December 2002: For the full harrowing tale of our visit, take a look at my field notes for Cerrig Caerau, which stands only a few hundred yards away from Lled Croen yr Ych.
Chris and I made a very hasty visit to Lled Croen yr Ych, with Alfie strapped to me (thankfully oblivious to the extreme cold because he was under my coat). The others stayed at Cerrig Caerau sheltering behind the largest stone. There's a fence running between the two circles, with a conveniently placed stile (only slightly broken) so that you can get between the sites.
This circle is a smaller than it's neighbour, with small squat stones (each less than a cubic metre in size). Some of the stones are unusual shapes, with one small wedge like stone on the side of the circle nearest to Cerrig Caerau. None of the stones are standing, but in contrast to Cerrig Caerau, I'm not convinced that they ever were standing. They're more like little boulders than standing stones.
If I had to guess, I'd say that Cerrig Caerau is the older of the two circles because it has the look of a pale imitation. In comparison, to it's neighbour Lled Croen yr Ych is slightly drab and feels less well thought out. A latecomer perhaps, but an enigmatic one, given it's close proximity to Cerrig Caerau.
Having derided it, I have to admit that Lled Croen yr Ych isn't without a charm of its own, and if it weren't right next door to a more eminent circle (on local standards) then I guess I'd look at it in a different light. I would really like to visit both these circles again in the summer.
The tradition explanatory of this name is thus given by the late Mr. Richard Williams, F.R.hist.S.: "Once upon a time two 'ychain bannawg' (long-horned oxen) were separated, one being placed on the top of this mountain and the other on the top of the hill between Llanbrynmair and the Cemmes; that the two bellowed to each other until both died of grief because of their separation, and that the one which died here was skinned, and his skin spread out over the spot where he was buried, this circle of stones being set up to mark its dimensions" ('Hist. of the Parish of Llanbrynmair,' Mont. Coll., 1888, xxii, 308).
There are five stones in the circle at Lled Croen yr Ych (I'm not sure where Mr Barber got his information from), and two small outlying stones to the north west. According to Cadw the circle has a maximum diameter of 26 metres. Despite looking rather squat and boulder-like the stones are upright, each with a small hollow around it, probably created by livestock.
Apparently the area around the circle was ploughed and re-sown, probably in the early '80s. Although the stones themselves weren't damaged, there's the possibility that this improvement might have done damage to as yet undiscovered finds. The area around Cerrig Caerau seems to have escaped ploughing in recent times.