This mountaine is so high and farre mounted into the ayre, that when the countrey about is faire and cleere, the toppe thereof will be hidden in a cloude, which of the inhabitants is taken a sure signe of rain to follow shortly; whereof grewe this proverbe, "When Percelly weareth a hat, all Penbrokeshire shall weete of that."
Astonishing weather forecasting from 'A History of Pembrokeshire' by George Owen, 1603.
(Partly reprinted in the 'Cambrian Register' for the year 1796. p120 - this is where I read it at Google Books.)
Although I know some people have had trouble finding the mighty Pentre Ifan I found it easy enough. I did have my O/S map with me but it wasn’t needed as the site is signposted all the way from the A487.
Dafydd had recently made a model of Pentre Ifan for school and I was keen for him to visit the site in person. This was something that he was also eager to do. Karen stayed in the car with Sophie who was sound asleep after playing on the beach.
Even though I had been here before it was with a sense of excitement that I walked from the parking area, along the path, towards the dolmen.
It was whilst walking along the path that I noticed how many large stones there are scattered about. This was something I hadn’t paid much attention to on my previous visit although I am a bit more experienced in these things now so I guess I am more likely to take notice of such things.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this site? It is quite exceptional.
It was just as I remembered it. In saying that this is one of those places that you are never likely to forget visiting!
Dafydd was also impressed. I took photos of him stood in front of the stones. Something he can take to school to show his teacher and later keep next to his model which takes pride of place in his bedroom!
Pentre Ifan is one of the outstanding prehistoric site in Wales and should be on everyone’s ‘must do’ list. If you are planning a trip ‘way out west’ make sure to also visit nearby Castell Henllys – it makes for a good day out.
On our way home after visiting Pentre Ifan we opted to travel along the B4329 through the lovely Preseli national Park. This gave me the opportunity to have a quick for the Penlan standing stones along the way.
The minor road running past the stones is very narrow with no parking or passing places. As is common in this part of the world the banks either side of the road are very high, with a hedge running along the top. I have often wondered why the hedgerows are like this in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
The two stones next to each other on the northern side of the road are the easiest to spot, although you have to climb to the top of the bank to see them. There is no public access to the stones so a ‘sneak’ visit would be in order if you wanted a closer look. Something I didn’t have time to do. As far as I could tell the feeding trough is no longer between the stones.
Continuing a short distance along the road I (eventually) spotted the solo stone on the opposite side of the road. Again, you have to climb up the bank and it is trickier to see as it is next to a hedgerow. At first I couldn’t see it but the sun came out and it became more pronounced, previously it blended into the hedge. Again, there is no public access to the stone.
The stones are certainly worth looking out for if you are in the area but you will need to be able to climb the bank to see them. There are good views out along the valley to the south-east.
I couldn't see the stone from the road, the hedge is on top of an earthen bank, like what they get in Cornwall, but some nifty map reading took me to the gate mentioned elsewhere, and thar she blows.
She is as lovely a standing stone as you could hope to wish for, she never gets in trouble, always home on time, erm, I mean she's tall and shapely, and very colourfully attired, and like most women there is two sides to her, why do I mostly see them as female. They're not are they ? it must be me.
Very very sadly my 1:50,000 map does not show the other two stones down the road, B and C, so I did not know of their existence. Next time.
Also, I've heard it said that these stones are part of an avenue between two now long gone stone circles. Any information anyone.
This is such a megalith drenched area that the occasional drizzle and misty conditions did nothing to dampen my ardor for the place, big hills, rocky summits, no people, and more stones than you can shake a 1:50,000 map at. This is my kind of place no matter what the weather, some sun would be nice for sure, but right now i'm just happy to be here.
From the Rhos Fach stone pair, near the Waldo stone (modern) and the Cystic Fibrosis stone (I kid you not, modern) go west. It's probably best to park on the actual car park on the left hand corner, no more than a minute from the two unlikely named stones. Then walk further down the road and then turn right onto an uneven farm track, signed as "Access only Cwm Garw". Well we want access, access to the stones, the stone pair are off to the left of the track, unmissable.
What a fine pair of standing stones these are, the stones of the sons of Arthur, the bigger of the two is rectangular in section whilst the smaller one is thin on edge. Both stones are copiously covered in lichens and mosses, as would be expected from stones that don't roll, ever.
Ease of access, the size of the stones, and their amiable surroundings all make this a terrific site to sit and play in the mud for a while, or maybe pondering life's mysteries is more your cup of tea, either way you can do them both here.
Kammer said that this feature was sadly unsung and i'm inclined to agree, but whilst this is not a song, feel free to add some music of your own choice, nothing pretentious mind.
Carn Menyn chambered cairn has been at the top of my Welsh hit list for a while now, it isn't too dissimilar from many other cairns, though being able to see and squeeze under the capstone is in my opinion a big bonus for a cairn. But the thing that sets it apart from any other, the thing that really makes it a must see is..... The stone river.
The stone river is made of small to medium sized boulders, stretching in an unbroken line for over half a mile, it does look like a river, winding it's way down hill, only it's made of stone.
Following the river up hill will inevitably bring one to the cairn, the river seems to erupt from under the cairn, spring like.
Or perhaps the river is a dragon with the cairn as it's head.
But this is certainly a feature of a certain oneness, ive not heard of one before, how is it made ? what did the cairn raisers think of it ?
To find such a good cairn, in such lovely surroundings, with such a mad feature attached, how can this place remain unsung.
If I dont think about it too much then this site is probably #1 on my most wanted list.
Everything came together at the right time so Eric me and the dogs were leaving for the stones at 2am, it's a long way and I wanted to be on site early, hence our ridiculously early start.
Five hours later.
We parked by the telephone box on the road south east of the cairn. We should have walked up the road a bit and entered the wilds just after the house called Glanrhyd, but we didn't, we went up through the forestry place. It was hard going, especially when we left the track, trees had fallen down and now and then our way was blocked by ten foot high root balls, a solid wall of earth, root, rock and small bits of crashed UFO's.
On the lower slopes, below the outcrops, the ground can get very boggy off the path (on the path too for that matter), progress was all right, only it went on too long, as Mr Thurber say.
Eventually we let the dogs pull us up to the top, mush, and once more I stand a top a Preseli Carn. But which is it, there's quite a few clustered together and they've all got there own names.
Carn Gwr has two cairns by it, but today I only have eyes for chambered cairns, I could easily spend the whole sunlit part of the day exploring these hills, there is much to see.
But I must stick to the plan or I wont be able to see #2 on my must see list, just a couple of standing stones more and then were outta there.
We hop from rock to rock, I knew the cairn was next to a big rock stack, we'd gone through them
all and were down to our last one, there's a lot of stone around here it has to be said, it took some time to find it, but in the end it was right where I thought it would be. With my usual alacrity I took us up the long way.
It was a touch on the misty drizzly side when we got on site, but it didn't detract from the place at all, it lent an ethereal beauty to the place, we couldn't see down to the road, the only distant places we could see was the other hill tops.
It is mostly like any other cairn, it's round-ish, and is a stony hump in the landscape. But right in the middle of the stony mass is a whopper capstone nigh on three meters square, it isn't square.
Under the capstone can be seen the fallen orthostats of the collapsed chamber, coflein suggests a Neolithic or maybe early bronze age date.
But most freaky of all is the stone river, a long curving line of boulders and assorted rubble maybe a mile long, I thought it was near or maybe next to the chambered cairn , but it's much better than that the stone river erupts right out of the side of the cairn. What a place to put your cairn, genius, absolute genius, on Dartmoor they erect stone rows for the same purpose, what ever that is. But here the earth itself, time or glaciers does the work for you. Sublime.
Cant recommend the place enough, i'm extremely perplexed as to why only Kammer has posted on it.