Like Postie I decided to approach the Barrows from the south even though I entered Staylittle from the north.
Using Postie's numbering system (if I have read it right!) I saw the following Barrows:
(I have added Coflein info for each of these Barrows)
First up was Barrow 7 – easily seen from the side of the road.
Coflein calls this Barrow 5 and states: ‘SN87459087 – a circular mound, 20m in diameter and 1.6m high, bearing the scar of its opening in 1909’.
Next was Barrow 6 – a shortish walk up the hill and easily seen amid the cut down trees. Good views from here.
Coflein calls this Clap Mawr Barrow and states:
‘SN88089157 – a circular mound, 20m in diameter and 1.6m high, one of several similar monuments in the Penfforddlas area that have been trenched, with unspecified human bones and weapons being found’.
As you continue north and enter Staylittle there is a Barrow on the left next to a building. Coflein calls this Llwyn-y-Gog Barrow and states:
‘SN87709204 – a circular mound, 29.5m in diameter and 1.9m high’.
Barrow 5, on the opposite side of the road is recorded as Forest Lodge Barrow. Again, this is easily seen from the road. Coflein states:
‘SN88009199 – a sub-circular mound, 22m by 16m and 1.8m high’.
The last two Barrows 1 and 2 are funnily enough also recorded on Coflein as Barrow 1 and 2! There is room to park next to the gate and a fairly short walk brings you next to both Barrows. It is a pleasant walk and recommended. Decent views from the Barrows. Coflein states:
‘Barrow 2 - SN87739230 – a mutilated, sub-circular mound, 22m by 16m and 1.8m high. Barrow 1 - SN87819236 – a circular mound, 17m in diameter and 1.2m high. Excavation in 1903 produced an urn and a five year old cow burial’.
So there we have it. Hope this makes sense?
As Postie states, this is a hidden gem of a place and one well worth exploring when in the area.
My computer and coflein don't get on anymore, so I haven't been able to find a numbering system for the barrow cemetery, so I made one of my own up. Starting in the north closest to the village of Staylittle, where most folk will come from, is barrows one and two and coming south up to number eight. Eight barrows in a cemetery one and a quarter miles long, most at the valley bottom except two on the hills to either side of the valley.
I came at them from the south, because I'd just been to the long cairn at Cwm Biga.
So barrow 8 was the first barrow we came to. It's on the eastern side of the small road. Behind some buildings, but it's all but gone. Maybe a mound less than a foot tall, and hidden in dense vegetation. I never even took a picture, that doubtful I was as to whether it was there at all. But over the fields I could see barrow 7. Back in the car, two hundred yards north, and I parked right next to barrow 7, it's ten yards over the fence. About five feet tall, and from some directions it melds right into the countryside, hiding in plain site.Barrow 8
Barrow 6 so the map and google earth says is hidden in a forestry plantation, but it's all been recently chopped, revealing the barrow nicely.
Turning right off the road and driving up a rapidly disappearing track, we were soon off roading and
able to park within fifty feet of the barrow. I left Arhtur the jack russell in the car whilst I jumped the fence and carefully traversed the broken ground where the trees had been. The barrow is at least two meters tall, and the tree stumps surrounding look like some kind off kebing. The barrow has lots of different grasses on top and is a nice place to sit and survey the valley, even if the trees had still been here I think it would have been a nice place, barrows 7,4 and 3 are visible from here, and barrow 8 were it still there.
Back to the car and back to the main road, turn right, head north two hundred meters, spot barrow 4 through gate in the corner of the field. carry on past it turn left and park in the corner of a small housing estate. Arthur and me walked into the corner of some common land, where kids make dens and tarzies, over a small fence and through a small gate brings us out right behind barrow 4. Again it's about two meters tall but considerably more spread than the other barrows.
From here barrows 3 and 6 can be seen on opposite hillsides. Back to the car and head north for a hundred metres park on the right by footpath sign.
Barrow 5 can be seen at the top of the field in front of more forestry trees. I skirted round the field keeping to the path for as long as possible, but in the end the barbed wire topped fenced has to be jumped. Arthur's helped over, then my turn, riiiiip, crap, they were my favorite trousers, torn too badly to fix, they'll have to be chucked away on my return home. The barrow is the smallest of the octuplets, maybe a meter tall. From here I can see more barrows on the valley floor, 1 and 2 I presume. Back to the car, Arthur is intrigued by the sheep but feels no compulsion to chase, good boy.
Barrows 1 and 2 are reached along a farm track, I leave Art in the car and walk off towards the farm. Barrow 1 comes first, about half way from the road and the farm, situated on a small spit of land by the track over looking a small river that eventually empties into the reservoir.
The interior of the barrow is seriously scooped, but would have been near three meters tall had it been intact.
A hundred yards south west is the best barrow in the complex, Barrow 2. Intact and unscooped from here I can see barrow 2, 5 and 3 . The field with two barrows has sheep and some big cows, but the sheep don't run and baa away, the cows don't get too excited and I'm left to roam at will.
On the hill further south west is Barrow 3, the only one that I don't attempt to get to, but from the other barrows I can see that it's situated not at the top of the hill but half way down on a false crest so as to be seen on the horizon. And that is Staylittle barrow cemetery a remarkable place, hidden in a valley away from prying eyes, it's not the kind of place you stumble upon as it's in the middle of no where, but a very pretty no where.
Visited 9th February 2003: We were on our way from Llanidloes to Machynlleth, so we stopped briefly in Staylittle to see what we could find of the barrows. We were short of time, so it was a superficial visit. The easiest barrow to get a good look at is the one just north of the forestry plantation (the grid reference above is for this barrow). It strikes me as pretty unusual to find a barrow cemetery in a valley like this, at least in these parts.
The mountain road between Llani and Mach is really beautiful, with fantastic views of Snowdonia as you head north. It's well worth taking this route if you've got the time. We stopped off at Maen Llwyd on the way.