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

Wales

Country

Sites/Groups in this region:

12 posts
93 sites
Anglesey County
128 sites
Carmarthenshire County
7 posts
124 sites
Ceredigion County
2 posts
131 sites
Conwy County
9 posts
149 sites
Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham Region
8 posts
302 sites
Gwynedd County
1 post
48 sites
Monmouthshire County
11 posts
222 sites
Pembrokeshire County
462 sites
Powys County
4 posts
465 sites
South Wales Region

News

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Cadw to remain in Government


The Welsh Government’s historic environment service Cadw will remain part of Welsh Government for the foreseeable future, Culture Minister Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas confirmed today... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st November 2017ce

Wales heritage bodies reject formal merger


Welsh heritage bodies have rejected a formal merger of any of their functions.

But government-controlled Cadw will become independent in recommendations to Economy Secretary Ken Skates.

An independent review of National Museum Wales (NMW) will also be held and will be published by the summer... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
5th February 2017ce

A Bill To Make History – Legislation To Protect Wales’ Past To Become Law


Summary of the Bill’s provisions

To give more effective protection to listed buildings and scheduled monuments

Extension of the definition of a scheduled monument
The Welsh Ministers will be able to recognise and protect any nationally important sites that provide evidence of past human activity... continues...
moss Posted by moss
10th February 2016ce

Heritage bill to protect monuments in Wales


A new law to protect historical monuments and buildings in Wales aims to make it more difficult for those who damage them to escape prosecution.
It comes after 119 cases of damage to sites between 2006 and 2012 resulted in only one successful prosecution... continues...
moss Posted by moss
6th May 2015ce

Anglesey: Mysterious artefact discovered at Neolithic tomb

Find at Perthi Duon excavation site near Brynsiencyn could prove existence of a British Copper Age says archeology expert...

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/anglesey-mysterious-artefact-discovered-neolithic-6997721
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
27th April 2014ce

Brecon beacons rock art found - volunteers wanted


http://breconbeacons.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/first-prehistoric-rock-art-discovered-in-the-brecon-beacons/

Very similar to the beeb story posted yesterday which I suspect was based on this... continues...
juamei Posted by juamei
7th March 2014ce
Edited 7th March 2014ce

Bronze Age rock art uncovered in Brecon Beacons


Rare, prehistoric rock art which could be more than 4,000 years old has been discovered in the Brecon Beacons.

The Bronze Age discovery was made late last year by national park geologist Alan Bowring.

Experts claim the stone probably served as a way marker for farming communities... continues...
moss Posted by moss
6th March 2014ce
Edited 6th March 2014ce

Six-week consultation on a new proposal for the Heritage Bill


The Welsh Government would like your comments on a new proposal to give more effective protection to scheduled ancient monuments.

Between 2006 and 2012, Cadw received reports of 119 cases of unlawful damage to scheduled ancient monuments in Wales... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
3rd March 2014ce

In Pictures: Welsh Rock Art Organisation discoveries

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18432443
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
23rd June 2012ce

Wales Coast Path officially opens


Sorry to be a bit tardy with this, but this is momentous news, making Wales the first country in the world to open a path around its whole coastline.

Linked with Offa's Dyke Path, it makes a 1050-odd mile circuit around the whole country. Wow.

http://www.bbc... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
4th June 2012ce
Edited 4th June 2012ce

Tax bill paid with 2,000-year-old Iron Age fire guard


"A 2,000-year-old Iron Age fire guard has been accepted into Wales' national museum in lieu of inheritance tax.

The Capel Garmon Firedog, once one of a pair on the hearth of a chieftain's roundhouse, is regarded as one of the finest surviving prehistoric iron artefacts in Europe."

More here..... continues...
1speed Posted by 1speed
21st December 2011ce

Hot Weather Shows Wales' History

From an item published on the BBC News web site on 8th August 2006:
Hot weather has produced parched landscapes which have allowed experts to detect the outlines of some of Wales' earliest buildings...
See the aerial photos, including an image of the newly discovered circular enclosure and barrow near Aberystwyth.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
10th August 2006ce
Edited 2nd June 2007ce

Folklore

Add folklore Add folklore
Michaelmas Day was formerly regarded with suspicion in Wales. It was credited with uncanny power. There was an old superstition that on this night the Cistfaens, or warriors' graves, in all parts of the Principality were illuminated by spectral lights, and it was very unlucky to walk near those places on Michaelmas Eve or Night; for on those two occasions the ghosts of ancient warmen were engaged in deadly fray around their lonely resting-places. (C. D. and Family Collection.)
From Marie Trevelyan's Folk-lore and folk-stories of Wales (1909).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th December 2013ce

Links

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Historic Place Names


The List of Historic Place Names of Wales is a groundbreaking and innovative resource that contains hundreds of thousands of place names collected from historical maps and other sources. It provides a fascinating insight into the land-use, archaeology and history of Wales.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
8th May 2017ce
Edited 8th May 2017ce

People's Collection: Wales


Some excellent aerial images of Bronze Age cairns... amongst other stuff. For those without personal air transport.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
6th December 2016ce

John Piper - The Mountains of Wales


This autumn Plas Glyn-y-Weddw is delighted to present an outstanding group of views in Snowdonia by John Piper from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.

On to the 13th December 2015
moss Posted by moss
7th November 2015ce

Historic Wales


Like Coflein? Impressed by Archwilio? Well now you can enjoy the data from both of them together. In one place. On a high quality mapping layer.

That's the end of sleep and bedtime for me then.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
8th February 2015ce

The lost lands of our ancestors


Exploring the submerged landscapes of Prehistoric Wales.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
30th September 2013ce

Royal Commission ebooks


Our entire back catalogue is available through our bookshop.All out of print titles are now available as eBooks via Google Play with inventories published before 1965 being free of charge.
http://www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/ENG/Publications/Bookshop/Inventories/
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th May 2013ce
Edited 9th May 2013ce

View Finder Panoramas


Not strictly megalithic, but anyone who has stood on one of Wales' high places and wondered "what's that big pointy hill over there?" should find it of interest.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
11th December 2011ce

Database for Rock Art in Wales


moss Posted by moss
6th September 2010ce

Archwilio


New website of the Welsh Historic Environment Records, with a lovely searchable map. Mmm.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd July 2010ce

Meini Meirionnydd


A Welsh web site that has grown out of the publication of the very popular book 'Meini Meirionnydd'. The site is currently under development but will eventually have information in Welsh about the Pre-history monuments of Wales.
caealun Posted by caealun
6th September 2008ce
Edited 11th November 2008ce

Latest posts for Wales

Showing 1-10 of 22,008 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Foel Frech (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

About half a mile south of Cerrigydrudion - yes, the village immortalized in song (well, in certain 'antiquarian' circles anyway) by Mr Cope back in 2007 - the B4501 leaves Thomas Telford's A5 to immediately cross the Afon Ceirw at Pont Moelfre, prior to cutting across the hills to Frongoch. Now, should the latter also sound familiar.... well, to be fair, it should. Since it was here that Michael Collins, among others, was interned in the aftermath of the farcically inept Easter Rising of 1916, no doubt busy laying the foundations of his public - albeit ultimately personally tragic - eventual triumph of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The landscape here certainly echoes such lofty ideals and I'm verily captivated by the vivid colour contrast as the low early morning light periodically illuminates the flanks of the valley. Suffice to say the words to further elucidate such natural beauty will not come to me just yet. After all, to paraphrase Dave Gahan backstage at Pasadena in 1988, I ain't no Wordsworth.

So, there's serious history in them thar hills. However as momentous as such events may be I'm today mostly wearing my 'prehistoric hat'; and boy, does it need a wash. Speaking of which.... be careful what you wish for, my friends. Anyway, in due course a single track road at Nant-y-crytiau ventures northward across Cadair Benllyn, subsequently veering westward upon encountering a multi-gated cross roads beside an old chapel, to eventually terminate at the isolated farm of Blaen-y-cwm. As I negotiate the final livestock barrier I have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of, by all accounts, the smallholder, his initial countenance one of bemused bafflement at my very presence. He rather brusquely enquires whether I speak Welsh, presumably since (clearly) no tourist would venture here in a million years? Or thereabouts. As it happens I do not. Although in mitigation of such a heinous crime most Welsh people I know do not speak Welsh either. Including members of my own family. Nevertheless my explanation, to the effect of planning to go for a walk in the teeming rain to find an ancient burial cairn, strikes him as perfectly rational behaviour for an English gentleman. As long as I fasten the gate behind me, mind. Well, after all, one doesn't get much opportunity to venture forth in the midday sun. In North Wales.

At Blaen-y-cwm a green track-cum-bridleway makes it way in a south-westerly direction, ascending across the eastern flanks of Foel Frech to a gated bwlch (col). The track veers approx north-west to (eventually) meet a metalled road accessing the former medieval pilgrimage hub of Ysbyty Ifan astride the Afon Conwy; however, not requiring sanctuary at this time, I instead cut across the western aspect of Foel Frech to (eventually) locate the Bronze Age cairn marked upon the map. Sited overlooking the Nant Llan-gwrach a quite considerable distance below and to the north-west of the summit, the monument occupies - or at least did at the time of the visit - a position that may be plausibly described as, er, 'rather wet indeed'. To be honest this was always going to be the case given both the topography... and fast moving fronts of vicious, driving hail.

Now there are occasions when venturing out in seriously inclement weather - particularly upon the hills - can result in a veritable working over by Mother Nature for no real correspondingly tangible reward. Tell me about it. However it soon becomes apparent that here, set within the not insubstantial remnants of this cairn, we have the clear and rather copious remains of a large cist still extant. Furthermore, the intervals between hail fronts are denoted by the sweeping washes of golden light so prevalent earlier in the day. In such conditions, despite leaky boots overwhelmed by the sheer deluge of frozen precipitation ejected by the looming, at times overwhelming, cumulonimbus, this wild hill side is the place to be right here, right now. Well, for a Citizen Cairn'd, anyway.

Those interested in the technical detail should note that Coflein reckons the monument is:

"...circular in plan and measures approximately 6.5m in diameter by up to 0.4m high. It is well constructed with densely-packed stones and has a cist in the centre. The cist measures 1.4m long by 1m wide and 0.4m deep. It has a long vertical cist slab running along the southern side and a shorter slab on the eastern side. There is a further shorter slab that has been displaced and is sat on the northern edge of the cairn... " [P.J. Schofield, OA North, 16/9/2009].

As is usually the case, however, it is the landscape context which makes a visit here so worthwhile, the cairn's obscurity assuring a great, windswept upland vibe. However it is as a viewpoint that the site really excels since, arranged in serried rank to the west, sit the mountains of Northern Snowdonia in all their expansive glory, Moel Siabod standing vanguard to the fore. Well, at least in the welcome, brilliantly lit intermissions between hail storms, that is.

Now should there be, due to some currently unfathomable breech of the laws of physics and everything science holds dear, mountain gods inhabiting these regions, suffice to say they are a bunch of mischievous, nebulous rogues, so they are. Well, put it this way: I've lost count of the number of times when, a mere few hundred yards from reaching the sanctuary of the car nice n'dry... the heavens duly open. Such is the case today. Hey, if one didn't know better it's almost as if....
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
8th December 2018ce
Edited 12th December 2018ce

Bryn Cau (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

This arguably rather incongruous monument stands just above the minor, gated road traversing the Lliw valley... yet is, as far as I could tell, not visible from it. Not mentioned on the current OS maps, it is, nonetheless, subject to CADW scheduling. According to Coflein:

"Remains of a small cairn situated on a saddle between two local promontories on a NW-SE aligned ridge. The cairn is circular in shape and measures c. 4.2m in diameter. It is shallow in profile and measures c. 0.65m tall". (F.Foster/RCAHMW 02.10.2006)

Worth checking out in conjunction with the larger monument about a half mile to the NW below Foel Ystrodur Fawr.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
7th December 2018ce

Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney) (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Pen-Twyn Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Twyn y Gaer Camp (Crucorney) (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Twyn y Gaer Camp (Crucorney)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Hatterrall Hill (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Hatterrall Hill</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Rhiw Arw (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Rhiw Arw</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Cwm Bwchel, Black Mountains (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Cwm Bwchel, Black Mountains</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Mynydd Pen-y-Fal (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Mynydd Pen-y-Fal</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd December 2018ce

Foel Ystrodur Fawr (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Motorists travelling south upon the A470 between Trawsfynydd and Dolgellau may well find their gaze irrevocably drawn to the undulating, albeit somewhat serrated, skyline of Y Rhinogydd… prior to Cadair Idris, Snowdonia's last, emphatic hurrah before Pumlumon, seizing centre stage upon the wide screen. As a result none but the most inquisitive - or possibly pedantic? - tourists will consider heading east to penetrate the wild hinterland of the Afon Lliw sandwiched between the near 3,000ft heights of Arenig Fawr and Aran Fawddwy. Only traversed by a gated, single track mountain road, the paucity of traffic here is perhaps understandable, a cursory glance at the map highlighting many apparently more tasty fillings elsewhere. However there is much to be said for adopting a minimalistic approach once in a while, grasping the opportunity to cleanse the landscape palate, so to speak; to get off the beaten track.

Having said that, the start is not overly auspicious: the mock ski-chalet complex of Rhiw Goch suggestive of muppets in shiny new 4x4s enduring 'outdoor experiences' (the former ski centre having apparently now closed down). However all is forgiven when noting this is actually a recycled army training camp. Furthermore the nearby, excellent monolith of Llech Idris (him again) and Sarn Helen/Tomen y Mur stand (if a track can be said to 'stand', that is) mute testimony to the fact that folk have been passing this-a-way for millennia. Anyway... beyond the wooden cabins the minor road follows the course of the Afon Gain to a rather fine little stone bridge before climbing to the summit of Pen y Feidiog, subsequently descending to cross the fledgling Afon Lliw at the farming hamlet of Blaen Lliw.

I feel a sense of everything having a pragmatic reason to exist here... of there being nothing superfluous, nothing but sine qua non. Although, of course, that may well be just middle class fantasy on my part. What is (once again) beyond doubt, however, is the continuity of the human story here, the evidence for which lies above and beyond in the form of two obscure prehistoric cairns. Obscure? Well, neither are indicated upon either the latest 1:50k or 1:25k OS map, so thanks are due to the wondrous people at Coflein. The larger of the pair sits below and to the south east of the summit crags of Foel Ystrodur Fawr and according to CADW "is circular in shape and measures c. 5.5m in diameter. The cairn is shallow and rounded in profile, measuring c. 0.4m tall". [F.Foster/RCAHMW 04.10.2006]. A little to the east of Blaenlliw Isaf farm a livestock gate allows access beyond a drystone wall and proves the key to locating the monument upon its little terrace: once through it is possible to park within an old quarry(?) a short(ish) distance on the left.

Having donned boots and scrambled a little to the north the aforementioned wall will be discerned heading approx north, then, in plain wiry mode, north-east beneath the slightly higher of the rocky Foel Ystrodur twins to the Afon Erwent. Yeah, potential visitors should note that the official bridleway is not much use here, heading eastward. Contrary to my expectations the cairn sits to the north of the fence line; however a helpful stile eases progress in this respect, so no matter the slight faux pas.

OK, the cairn isn't that large, doesn't show signs of a former cist (that I could determine, anyway), nor kerb. In fact not much at all… yet it is immediately apparent that this monument occupies a special place in the landscape. The mighty Arenig Fawr rises, unseen within a mass of opaque vapour, to the immediate north-east, the shapely Moel Llyfnant - to approx north-west - proving a little more obliging by periodically slipping its clammy raiment from the shoulder to reveal a prominent summit (the peak is incidentally well worth an ascent from Blaen Lliw). To the south Dduallt is visible (head for Pont Aber-Geirw and Cwm yr Allt Lwyd for this one), although no doubt The Arans would dominate the horizon in better weather? The silence is absolute, the vibe consequently superb .... so much so that a Citizen Cairn'd can readily absolve the map makers of the oversight, appreciate why the OS passed this one by. Well, c'mon - the local farmer(s) aside - who but a loon 'off-piste' hill bagger would have reason to venture forth upon this wild hillside? Who indeed?

I decide to return to the car in a circuitous manner, via the second of the cairns (at SH81943306) a little to the south-east of the rocky outcrop Bryn Cau. This is a smaller, more ragged affair set upon a saddle just above the road. In other circumstances I might have been inclined to cite it as 'clearance'.... but here, upon this lonely moor devoid of any loose surface stone? I think not! With a superb vista of the Lliw Valley there for the taking just a little to the east, it is abundantly clear that this cairn was specifically sited NOT to overlook the course of the Afon Lliw now flowing toward Llanuwchllyn.

To be fair I have noted other instances of such apparent constructional pedantry elsewhere in the Welsh uplands - e.g the pair of cairns upon the Nantlle Ridge's Y Garn immediately spring to mind - where the act of negating a field of vision has appeared (to me) a conscious decision requiring not a little effort. Perhaps suggestive of local inclusion at the expense of peripheral passers by? Conjecture, of course. But it is a worthwhile exercise to have ventured here to contemplate such things.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
2nd December 2018ce
Edited 4th December 2018ce
Showing 1-10 of 22,008 posts. Most recent first | Next 10