Although not exactly in the best of repair, this monument is, in my opinion, nevertheless well worth a visit for a couple of reasons....
Firstly, a number of small orthostats still survive to add some definition to the site, which, although heavilly overgrown with fern - as we head into Autumn - still possesses a pretty good vibe. Which is always a bonus, I find. In actual fact it is so overgrown today that we initially walk right by it, despite the cairn remaining relatively substantial. Coflein has the following to say:
'A cairn, 20m by 16m and 1.3m high at the NE. Excavation (in 1960's) revealed stone-walled revetment. Elements of chamber(s)/cist(s) can be seen in robber hollows'
Secondly, the tomb is sited in a truly glorious position at the bwlch (mountain pass) above lovely Cwm Sorgwm. The 2,000ft peak of Mynydd Troed towers above to the approx north-east offering - in return for a pretty stiff, but short climb - some of the best views Wales has to offer (seriously) not to mention its own round burial cairn.... if you can find it amongst the heather, that is. Across the pass, the skyline is dominated by Mynydd Llangorse, site of a promontory fort in times gone by. One assumes they were hardier people back then...hell, they would have needed to be to survive in these uplands. Incidentally, note that there is also a further enclosure upon the western flank of Cwm Sorgwm [Caeau] to your left as you look from long cairn to promontory fort. This is hard to spot at low level, but pretty obvious if you decide to take a stroll along Mynydd Troed's ridge to find the round cairn. Add an excellent view of The Brecon Beacons rising beyond Llangorse Lake and the worth of a visit here really is a no-brainer.
If the few times I've been here are representative, it's clear the car parking area can get pretty popular, particularly with locals walking dogs (and kids), so if coming by car, I would advise both an early start, and that you reverse into a space to avoid being blocked in by some muppet. Not that I have been, you understand, but the potential is clearly there....
For the Mam Cymru and I the steep ascent of Mynydd Troed calls... after all it is the best way to gain an understanding of how the many, many prehistoric monuments in the locality inter-relate. Unless you happen to have a helicopter that is. Or fancy a ride in one of the gliders which use the thermals generated by The Black Mountains to such great effect. However I need to feel the wind on my face, so I do. Nothing to do with cowardice, you understand? Get me a ride in an open cockpit bi-plane (with engine!)... then you'd be talking!
I visited this site last summer with Dafydd. I parked in the parking area which lies between the two summits and it is a short walk up the hill to the left. There isn't much to see although it is worth the effort to see the views looking down on Llangorse Lake.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha! This is a brilliant site! Visited 10.4.2010 in lovely spring sunshine, walking from Bwlch up over Mynydd Llangorse. After descending from the promontory fort, the barrow is visible in its situation at the head of the cwm. It boasts a wonderful setting, perhaps the best of almost any site I've ever visited in some ways, not because it is at a great height (albeit it is 350m above sea-level), but just because of the diversity of scenery, all of it lovely. I couldn't stop grinning to myself once I got here, this is a truly special spot on such a lovely day.
The view north is blocked by Mynydd Troed itself, which was my next objective. From here the route to the summit of the mountain is steep and forbidding (but well worth the climb). To the north west the countryside faded away into a blue-green haze, across towards mid-Wales. To the immediate south the steeply sloping bulk of Mynydd Llangorse rises up. But the best views are to the south west and south east. To the south west the waters of Llyn Syfadden (Llangorse Lake) are beautiful in the sunshine, and behind rises the formidable central Beacons range, the highest peaks in Southern Britain. And south east there is a lovely view down the steep-sided Cwm Sorgwm, abruptly cut off by the bulk of Pen Allt-mawr. Many hundreds of years after Mynydd Troed tomb was built, these peaks would be topped by the burial cairns of bronze age people, striving to demonstrate their mastery of this wild and inhospitable landscape. But their neolithic forebears chose to place their tomb in a relatively lowly position, respecting the landscape rather than claiming respect from it. What a wonderful, wonderful place.
The tomb itself survives as a low, oval-shaped, grassy mound, with a few visible stones from a ruined central chamber. There may have been several chambers at one point, but there is little to see to indicate what the original structure included. However, this is a highly recommended site to visit. There is a parking area nearby, so access is simple, but I really enjoyed the walk over the Mynydd Llangorse summit ridge from Bwlch and if you can come on foot, it's a really rewarding place to reach. From here I headed up to the summit of Mynydd Troed itself, which also boasts terrific views, across both the central Beacons but also eastwards to the main Black Mountains ridge. Wow.
[P.S. I would happily visit this as a birthday treat myself.]
OS map required as lots of puttering around on unclassified roads.
Black Mountains group of chambered long cairns. On open heathland.
The site is on the western side of the hill Mynydd Troed. With views down to the largest natural lake in Wales: Llangors Lake. If the weather is good you can see the tree covered man-made crannog (settlement built on an artificial platform of timbers) on the lake (there is no public access to it).
Ty Isaf chambered tomb is on the eastern side of the same hill.
Approaching from Llangors, take the road that goes past Ty Mawr farm and stay on it.
When the road forks take the right one.
If all has gone well you will pass a sign for a farm called Cockit.
100m ahead up a steep hill is a cattlegrid.
Proceed to the top of the hill and with any luck you are in a parking area.
To your right is the main haul up Mynydd Troed.
On your left is a gate, go through it.
Rather than take the main track up the hill, there is a fork to the right.
Look for the taller bracken mound amongst the shorter bracken just to the right of this track, say 100m from gate.
Usual stuff: impressive views, etc.
Cadw gives the measurements for the oval mound as 20m long and 16m wide and 1.5m high, and orientated north-northeast to south-southwest.
The term ‘recent historical disturbance’ is apt for it, as it would appear to have been quarried quite heavily. It was only discovered in 1921.
Visiting the site, there are a three stones poking up out of the ground; two of them set at right angles, which give the appearance of being a chamber with missing capstone. The stone appears to be Old Red Sandstone.
There are a few others stones poking up here and there across the undulating mound as well as a few big hollows, which may indicate where chambers once stood. These stones appear to have been set on edge as opposed to just lying about.
As always, worth a look in, but I wouldn’t visit it as a birthday treat.