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.
Visited 6th October 2002: We decided to get as close as possible to the Penlan Stones by following a footpath to the north of them, approaching from the west. We had in mind a nice little loop that would take us back down to the road. After a short walk it was pretty easy to see the stones from the footpath, even though they have been disguised by the farmer who has put a large sheep feeding trough between them.
When we got to the bit where the footpath forks, we headed south and found ourselves in the same field as the stones. Rather than do the law abiding thing, we deviated from the path to get a closer look. Approaching the stones there were loads of sheep gathered around them (the trough is definitely adding to the soil erosion around stones). Even though we walked slowly the sheep were really jumpy, and made off to the far side of the field (soft southern lowland sheep!).
The stones are excellently placed, with beautiful views out to the south towards the mountains. The sunlight was only getting through the cloud in patches and the haze stopped the view prematurely, but this made landscape look even more strange and beautiful than usual.
After this we tried to get down to the road but we couldn't find a way across the barbed wire boundary fence. We ended up retracing our footsteps rather than doing the 'loop'. Later when we drove down the road we saw no sign of a stile crossing the fence. Another footpath bites the dust?!
The third stone that is associated with the Penlan Stones, to the south and on the other side of the road, is called Pen-Lan-Tre-Haidd (SN09043543). This stone has the alternative name of the Penparke standing stone. It's marked on the latest edition of the Landranger, but not on older versions. From the road, I scrambled up a really steep bank to get the photo that I've posted. There is definitely no other public access running close to this stone.