After passing Red Farm stone circle without a proper look, the impressive boulder of Maen Crwn is the first proper stop on the walk up towards the Druid's Circle.
Set in the V of a valley between higher hills, the long views are restricted. But it feels like a stone-on-the-way-to-somewhere stone, the kind you often find marking your path in upland Wales when on the way to exciting destinations. And given what waits above, it certainly performs that function beautifully.
The pull of the circles is too much to linger though...
Maen Crwn is unmissable, no quite literally. If you are walking up to the Druid’s Circle from the Two Pillars car park, the large boulder like stone, close to the only house seemingly for miles around, will give you a prominent landmark, and also point you toward the diminutive stones of the Red Farm circle.
It’s the first time I’ve ever come along this path, which provides a fantastic walk, from the first glimpses of the stones of Y Meini Hirion on the horizon when you leave the car, to these great bonus sites as you walk atop the high headland looking out over the sea, and the slumbering wyrm of the Great Orme. By the time Mean Crwn is reached you are about two thirds of the way there, and since you have to walk right past this fine megalith it would be rude, nay obligatory not to stop to say hello.
The stone is a satisfyingly chunky boulder-like affair. Burl describes it as ‘playing card’ shaped, in which case he must play with an odd deck as I think the Welsh name of Mean Crwn (meaning the round stone) is more descriptive. It reminds me greatly of Cae Coch, not far away from here along Tal-y-Fan.
Nicely screened by a line of trees allowing some separation from the nearby farmhouse, I’m free to give the stone a hug without embarrassment (not that I’ve been put off before!) and without the vague feeling of intrusion that can be felt when a monument is too close to someone’s house.
I ponder Cefn Maen Amor in the background, the stone seeming to nicely line up with the top of that hill, mirroring its shape in the landscape. I also try to look for alignments to the Red Farm circle in the next field, but sadly the annoying stone wall blocks my line of sight for a direct view. I later read that the wall contains a suspiciously standing stone like gatepost, but in the excitement of our pull toward the ‘main event’ of the Druid’s Circle I didn’t think to go and check out the fieldwall, a good excuse though to come back this way again, and where megalithic sites are concerned the more excuses to return the better!