The high road regained, the party was met by Mr. Pochin, who piloted the visitors to a Cromlech on the side of the hill overhanging the Conway river. Here, again, it was found that the relic of the past was in danger of destruction, and at the evening meeting it was resolved to appeal (through Mr. Pochin) to the owner to get it properly fenced.
This Cromlech is known by the name of Allor Moloch, and a local guide-book refers to a tradition which connects it with Edred, duke of Mercia, and Anarawd, prince of Wales, who fought in a bloody battle in the district in 880.
"As soon as Edred, the Saxon chieftain, was taken, a fire was kindled under the altar, and between the two upright stones, or arms of the God Moloch as some call them, until all the stones became intensely hot, when Edred was placed there by means of tongs or pincers specially prepared for the purpose; the heat being so great that his body was turned into ashes and scattered to the winds."
Pennant further informs us that "Anarawd styled the battle Dial Rodri, or the Revenge of Roderic, for his father, Roderic the Great, had the year before been slain by the Saxons."
From the visit of the Cambrian Archaeological Society, August 1882, recorded in The Antiquary volume 6.
Allor Moloch means the Altar of Moloch. Moloch is Canaanite god mentioned in the bible. He was supposedly cast as a bronze statue which was fired up before sacrificial victims were chucked inside. Nice. Still you know what the Romans used to say about the Druids, probably fibs. Anyway, a good pagan name for a non-Christian monument.
No field notes for eleven years, that's not right.
When approaching by car head for the dead end lane that takes you to Meddiant and Bryn-popty, round about here you'll come across a field gate on the right side of the lane with a footpath, leaving annoying children in the car by the gate, strike off into the field beyond. Follow the car tracks through the field into the field further up the hill, left and across the next field through the gate in the hedge, and the burial chamber is across this field in the trees.
Easy, even with cows, which kept a respectful distance of about two feet.
This is a very good place, even without the ancient site this would be a good place to sit and watch the world unfold, as I approached the stones I interrupted a pair of Buzzards, which called loudly as they flew off. My only little niggles are the state of preservation of the chamber and the trees that cover the view of the mountains. The trees I can forgive, but I would really rather the chamber stood up a bit more, its quite difficult working out which way is the front and back. But these are very minor niggles, easily overlooked when compared to the fact that you can still get into the chamber, under the capstone you can see the size of the supporting stones, and whats more no red paint.
The two tall pillars that look like they are behind the monument but aren't are good, if a little choked by barbed wire, and the capstone is a big one, very impressive big, a big stone with two smaller ones, humph, i'm reminded of the two obnoxious kids in the car and remember they couldn't be trusted with an angels innocence and start the short but cow barred walk back, the cows were good, perhaps they recognised another put upon soul and commiserated with me, and I them.