Firstly, I should say 'thanks' to the Sweetcheat for finally giving me the inclination to pay a long overdue visit to this fine, fine, mountain monolith upon the flanks of my beloved Y Mynydd Du.
I'm spending the weekend in South Wales for the Mam C's confirmation of her wedding vows, so megaliths and such-like are most definately off the agenda... until a communual visit to the Bridgend Designer Outlet is decided upon. Horror of horrors! Time for Gladman to make a quick exit....I therefore find myself heading westwards down the M4 before it dawns upon me that I haven't a clue where I'm going. Nothing new there, except, on this occasion, the statement is literal. SC's recent post pops into my mind. Ah.. Waun Leuci will do for a few hours.
Passing the tacky - in my opinion - Dan-yr-Ogof follies, my worst fears are confirmed as I head up the Trecastle road below Fan Hir. Yep, the valley 'chavs' are out in force in the sunshine, cars choking the eastern bank of the infant Tawe as their former occupants enjoy their communual barbecues. And to hell with everyone else..... Needless to say I very much doubt if their rubbish will leave with them, at least in a physical sense. Thankfully I manage to procure a parking space a little south of Bwlch Cerrig Duon and set off for the sanctuary of the hills.
The standing stone is taller than I expected, and of far less girth, in direct contrast to the Maen Mawr down the valley. I agree with Postie that the traveller is inclined to believe that the two were to some degree symbolically linked. It is therefore curious that the monoliths are not inter-visible, although it must be said there is very little in it, just a small 'slither' of hillside. However I'm not so sure about the profile of the stone mirroring the soaring escarpment of Y Mynydd Du across the valley. Mind you, if I am being a little too cynical in this respect, there's no denying that the aforementioned mountain massif simply had to be the focal point for all monuments in the area. Surely?
Whatever the truth of the matter, the standing stone is most certainly a focal point for some gorgeous lichen, not to mention local cattle, which have churned the surrounding ground to oblivion. But now I must ascend a little higher.
After leaving Fan Foel via the Beacons Way "stair", passing Llyn y Fan Fawr and heading east, Waun Leuci standing stone comes into view on the opposite hillside fairly soon in decent visibility. On a dry day, this means you can plan a trackless route across the grassy slopes directly towards the stone.
On the way (depending on the way) you might pass a very distrinctive natural rock with a very "witchy" profile.
Keep heading towards the stone, dropping down the slope until you reach the the nascent Afon Tawe - easy enough to cross this far up in dry weather, but I imagine a bit of nightmare in the wet. After reaching the road, a stile gives access eastwards onto the slopes of Waun Leuci. The stone becomes invisible for a while, so just follow the east-west fenceline as climbs the hill - the top of the stone will soon come into view. Approached from this direction it looks like a big square block of Maen Mawr proportions. It's only when you reach the stone itself that it becomes obvious that it is in fact a "playing card" slab, very thin on the north and south faces and, according to Burl, aligned on Maen Mawr (which is definitely not visible).
Facing westwards, the eastern ridge of Y Mynydd Du (Fan Hir and Fan Brycheiniog) fills the horizon - as Postie has already mentioned, the shape of the top of the slab mirrors the skyline. The stone is covered with a yellowy lichen, which can be seen again on Maen Mawr.
A lovely stone in a great location - although lots of cars were parked nearby, it doesn't look as though this is much-visited.
The stone is visible from the road in both directions although easier to see if driving south. For directions to the stone:
Follow road north of Cerrig Duon stone circle. As the road rises to the brow of a hill you will see parking spaces on your left. Park here and opposite you will see a small wooden stile. The top of the stone is just visible from this stile. Into the field and follow the wire fence up hill untill you reach the stone. Only a 5 minute walk but quite steep and the ground is very boggy!
It is very thin and no, Cerrig Duon and the Maen Mawr can't be seen but it seems obvoius that they're going out with each other, going steady as it were, by that I mean they're built by the same folk. But what hasn't been mentioned is the mountain beyond, Bannau Sir Gaer is the highest peak in the Beacons at 749m, the mountain side facing the stone is a sheer cliff and fills one with awe and wonder, now stand back and look at the top of the stone and compare with mountain ridge, before thousands of years of rain wore down the stones top the two could have been identical, of course, the opposite also holds true.
It needs to be a dry day to appreciate this.It is quite a steep walk from the stile and is a bit boggy. It is well worth the effort to get here. The stone is about 6ft high and 3 and a half ft wide and very surprising only 10ins thick. Although you cannot see Maen Mawr this stone seem in alignment.
1km north of Cerrig Duon stone circle, or 8km south of Trecastle on mountain road headed toward Craig-y-nos. The stone stands up on a hill and is easier to see up on the left when headed in a southerly direction, rather than up on the right when headed north as it is set back 300m from the road.
On the side of the road is a stile, with Brecon Beacons National Park signage indicating 'access to standing stone only'.
I am not convinced of the intervisibility between Waen Lleuci and Cerrig Duon, as there is a hill slope in the way.
The stone stands on a small plateau about 15m in diameter close to the field boundary. Broad blade shaped, very nearly 2m high and 1.5m wide, yet it is only 0.26m thick. The stone is aligned in a north-south direction and so can be considered to be pointing in the direction of Cerrig Duon. It is made of Old Red Sandstone.