The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




<b>Powys</b>Posted by postmanClyro Court Farm © Chris Bickerton
Due to the number of sites, Powys has been divided into the three historic counties of Brecknockshire, Montgomeryshire, and Radnorshire. If in doubt where to add your site, the Coflein map search
may be useful.
See individual sites for details

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Banc Ystrad-Wen (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Miscellaneous

There are four cairns collectively forming a cemetery upon Banc Ystrad-Wen, the finest of which (in my opinion) is the western-most at SN97956147. According to Coflein it represents the remains of a "Cairn, 13.1m in diameter and 0.75m high, at which a kerbing of boulders about the W and SW sides have been observed." J.Wiles 23.04.02. So, although not that upstanding in profile, this is nevertheless a significant stone pile mirroring similar monuments upon the north-eastern ridge of Y Gamriw across the cwm.

The next in stature, located at SN98236156, has been vandalised by an internal 'shelter' which (as with Carn-y-Geifr crowning Drum Ddu to the approx north-west) I reckon may be for sheep.. at least those of Ovis aries, as opposed to the human variety. Again, J Wiles reckons it is a "Mutilated cairn, 10.4m in diameter and 0.6m high, having had a shelter constructed in, and of it, to the NW of centre."

The remaining two monuments of the group are much smaller, located at SN98136150 "4.9m in diameter and 0.3m high" and SN98156153 "A partly scattered cairn, 4.3m in diameter and 0.45m high".

Although - needless to say - I didn't heed my own advice (approaching, via Carn Wen, having made a ludicrously tiring, vertical ascent of Trembyd from the north) I would suggest the best way to reach these cairns is via the Rhiw Llanwrthl, accessed at the terminus of the minor road heading south from the village following the Wye.
20th January 2018ce

Carn Wen, Llanwrthwl (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

I approached this, another of Mid Wales' numerous 'White Cairns', heading south from Banc Ystrad-wen following a retrospectively ill advised direct northern ascent of Trembyd. Furthermore chancing my luck that the ominously low cloud base was going to give me a break and, well... break. It didn't, the hitherto pale white ambience of swirling mist not what I had in mind. But there you are, that's why compasses were invented.

Despite the deteriorating conditions I enjoyed my time here, the cairn a substantial monument, the vibe (arguably) enhanced by the claustrophobic reduction in visibility. As for the cairn itself, Coflein reckons:

"A cairn, 23.8m in diameter and 0.8m high, having three projecting stone platforms about its E perimeter. Two small recent cairns and a double shelter have taken their place upon the cairn." J.Wiles 23.04.02

Incidentally there are further cairns marked upon the map in the immediate environs; I made a foray toward those sited upon Garth.... but lost my nerve in the opaque vapour and retreated back to the Mother Cairn. These hills are not to be trifled with in bad weather.
20th January 2018ce

Cwm Shelkin (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

A visit to this otherwise unremarkable cairn - if the final resting place of a forebear can ever be described as such, of course - is enlivened by what appeared to me to be clear remnants of a former cist and kerb. It would seem the OS people tentatively concur:

"A denuded cairn, 6.0m in diameter and 0.5m high, with possible cist elements and kerbing." J.Wiles 15.08.02

Situated upon the southern end of Mynydd Llangorse's whaleback summit ridge there are some fine views to be had of surrounding peaks, not to mention the excellent hill fort occupying Allt Yr Esgair across the way.
20th January 2018ce

Mynydd Llangorse (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

This is a deceptively substantial upland cairn which, to my mind, should be taken as a pair with the splendidly sited 'Blaneau-draw' monument a little way to the ENE. Indeed, an approach from Cwm Sorgwm, via the latter, makes for a grand hill walk with some excellent views. I was able to park upon the verge just south-east of the farm access road's junction with the 'main road' through the cwm (which, incidentally, is a good starting point for an ascent of Mynydd Troed's cairn).

Anyway, according to Coflein what we have here is:

"A mutilated cairn, 23m in diameter and 1.8m high, surmounted by a modern cairn. Set on the crest of a mountain ridge, on the boundary between two communities". [J.Wiles 15.08.02]
20th January 2018ce

Blaneau-draw (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

I more-or-less quite literally stumbled across this cairn, exquisitely perched upon the very edge of the escarpment overlooking the farm of Blaneau-draw, Cwm Sorgwm, whilst heading for the cairn at SO16562612. Indeed, since it is not annotated upon either the current 1:50k or 1:25k OS map, I assumed the larger monument had been mis-represented. Suffice to say it has not.

CPAT offers a little clarity:

"About 350 m W.S.W. from.." [SO16562612].. "410 m above O.D. on a terrace 15 m below the ridge top is a small Old Red Sandstone, badly disturbed, flat mound about 7 m in diameter 0.6 m high". [Roese, Thesis, no. 166. RCAHMW, 1995]

So, structurally speaking, not the finest Bronze Age upland cairn you'll ever encounter. But I hereby challenge anyone with a passion for the way the ever-changing light plays upon our uplands to not be moved by the placement of this beguiling pile of old stones.
20th January 2018ce

Nant Mawr, Fforest Fawr (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

Not shown on either the current 1:25k or 1:50k OS maps, I had RCAHMW to thank for highlighting these two wondrously sited cairns. Located upon either bank of the deep gash in the hillside carved by the Nant Mawr as it joins the Nant y Gaseg, Nant y Gwair and numerous other seasonal watercourses in assisting the nascent Afon Dringarth feed the Ystradfellte Reservoir, there are, in my opinion, few less congested spots in the entire National Park.

The downside to this isolation is reaching the cairns in the first place. As it was I approached from the west, ascending the northern aspect of Fan Dringarth to descend steeply toward the prominent sheep folds a little south (downstream) of the Nant Mawr's confluence with The Afon Dringarth... needless to say this meant ascending the mountain once again upon the return. But there you are. And besides, there is a superb aerial view from Fan Dringarth as compensation. Punters wishing to avoid mountain climbing might wish to consider an approach from the reservoir itself.

Anyway, according to David Leighton (RCAHMW, 17/07/2008):

1) Northern cairn - "...The stony mound... measures 12m in diameter and rises to 1.5m high. An edge set slab on its east side suggests a possible kerb otherwise obscured..."

2) Southern cairn - "...The slightly oval stony mound measures 8m (E-W) by 7.5m and 0.75m high... The interior has been robbed out leaving a hollow of irregular shape about 3m across."
9th January 2018ce

Fan Llia (Round Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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8th January 2018ce
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