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

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Kenric's Stone and Llanelltyd Church (Christianised Site) — Fieldnotes

I visited Llanelltyd on the 31st August 2006. There is what appears to be an external fountain or spring in the southern quadrant of the surrounding circular wall. One of the meanings of 'llan' is of an enclosure, and the church is right in the middle of this circular, sacred enclosure; a local (Gwynedd) man told me he thought 'llans were druid enclosures' and I cannot see any ecclesiastical reasons for 'enclosures' instead of Christian 'houses of god' (or indeed village 'preaching' crosses which preceded early churches?). The church gloss on the interior stone seems to fall apart on inspection - at one point it is described as 'shaped like a coffin', at another, a pilgrim's footprint is described on the stone, ensuring 'a safe return' from a pilgrimage - so the anecdotes appear to contradict one another?

St Elltyd also features in South Wales where he is associated with deer symbolism - I think this is the early Church building on pagan traditions in the area? Elltyd does not appear to be connected with deer hear by Dolgellau, however - at least not within the fabric of this church?

The road outside this church is very busy - beware!


Barclodiad-y-Gawres (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 18.8.05

Keys from Wayside Store (A4080), not Aberffraw - 5 quid deposit also gets you a torch, but bring your own, just in case.

Great! deserted passage mound on promontory stretching out into the saline tossed Celtic Sea.

The main orthostat is excellent - pecked chevrons and spirals - I consider a goddess stone, on the strength of [cawres] 'Gawres'; I would like to have been more aware of the cruciform arrangement of the mound, however - it is now very 'dome-like' inside, as well as out.

This is a magical location - when I arrived a solitary Sand Martin was flitting to and fro within the mound, illuminatied by the entrance, flying round and round in circles; One of a pair, they had nested in the concrete dome.

I take the 'goddess stone' for the owl goddess, also found in prehistoric France, and the magical stew as an offering to her - I am reminded of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion...

West Kennett (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited Avebury 22.12.02 - peaceful on West Kennet Avenue with bursts of incredible winter sunshine.

Lot of people in the village talking about "mushrooms".

Visited West Kennet Long Barrow 22.12.02 - monument filled with candles & nightlights, majority of which placed directly beside or beneath megaliths. The prolonged heat from these candles will probably damage/fissure these ancient stones. A capstone was reported cracked recently, I understand? Bottle of red wine going the rounds...

I spoke to the people at the barrow, about the danger to the monument, one of which promised to 'do something'. The others melted away into the interior of the barrow (about a dozen loosely connected people), seemed unwilling to discuss the matter [embarassed?]. Most of these guys appeared to have come from Stonehenge (solstice) from what I could discern from the conversation.

The guy (from Belgium) who'd promised to check on the nightlights soon left the barrow - as I was leaving, in fact. He didn't talk about the nightlights. I again explained the danger that fire poses to ancient stones; it was difficult to tell whether he could take what I was saying on board, although he spoke perfect English, French & Flemish.

After a while I let him continue on his way alone; I, wishing to visit the Swallowhead.

Afterwards, at the layby, I encountered about half a dozen people making their way towards the barrow. I wished them well but asked if they were to encounter candles at the monument, to please make sure none were harming the stones in any way - by directly heating them. The response seemed positive/bemused: a middle aged lady became quite defensive about her 'never using candles anyway!'

I will write to EH about adding a multilingual note to their WKLB information board, about the danger fire presents to ancient stones.

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