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

Foel Dduarth Arrow Stone



Just a couple hundred yards from Hafod Gelyn cairns is this Arrow stone, there are quite a few round here and this is a good example. Eric, the dogs and I entered the area where I knew it would be, I said to the lad look for a quite a big stone with lines carved onto it. Five seconds later "is this it ?"
It most certainly was, no time wasting here.

When Idwal came here he mustn't have had his glasses on because he saw the letters RRP carved amid the lines, but there is more, it isn't just initials but a whole name R R PENLAND. How rude.

Just what are they though ? Arrow stones ? presumably so called because the stone was used to sharpen arrow heads. But really ?
I haven't heard a single explanation that sits well, are they even properly ancient, who knows, not me, or anyone it seems. Geeeooorge !!!
postman Posted by postman
7th November 2013ce

Comments (5)

H.S (Bill )Chapman had an article in 3rd Stone in 1998 and listed 15 .Bezant Lowe menioned another near llangelynin Old Church but it has never been re-located and there was a cup marked portable with incisions from Clegyrdy Bach .If you need the grid refs I can send them .
There are a few other marked rocks in the cup and ring tradition with similar incisions which may well be contemporaneous and also quite similar markings without cups that are considered Neolithic - Bronze Age elsewhere in the UK /Ireland .
I've found a few similar to the Welsh examples and others that look like a deliberate attack on marked rocks .
I reckon it's fair to say that some are simply part of the rock art tradition others which are grozing stones i.e. used for sharpening and the Arrow stones might belong to that class .Interestingly some of the Arrow stones are found close to where tracks meet .
See scroll down to 21,22,31 and 32 ,this area is covered in rocks with incisions .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
7th November 2013ce
A mine of information as ever George,
cup marked portables are quite good aren't they ? what could they have been used for ? did it make the owner special in some way ? or would others have thought "oh look, Ned's made some more dips in a stone" points to temple and swirls.
If you've any grid refs for Wales where I can still get to see them, and they're not on here then by all means send them over, though I couldn't say when I'd get round to getting there.
I've not come across attacks on marked rocks before, does it signify a change in beliefs or newcomers to an area or did one artist do the rings and then ended the spell? with the incisions, like blocking off a burial chamber when it came to the end ? many many questions, don't feel like you have to answer all or any of them, their mostly rhetorical.
postman Posted by postman
7th November 2013ce
The ones I'm aware of are all in north Wales ,
Anafon Valley SH 6926 7098
wAEN y gORS sh 6800 7206
Camarnaint SH 6956 7315
Moel Faban SH 6356 6779
Bryffanigel Ganol SH 912 751
Brynnffanig Isaf SH 909 749
Tanydderwen Cottage SH 993 739 : ahsn't been refound .
LLanfairfechan .SH 6937 7228
Llanfairfechan(2) SH 6923 7238
Penmachno SH 789 497
CYnal Fawr SH 704 408 (approx )
Rhos fawr SH 5608 6833
Ty Croes SH 3296 6932

Nant y Cytiau : not located by RCAM so probably still in the area ,if you fancy a look .
Wen Gyrach has been moved to a private garden in Llandudno .

Portable "cobbles " with a single cup mark (although the cobbles at the Steet house "Wossit " were marked on two and three faces) are found in burial contexts sometimes in large numbers . The usual suggestion is that they are votive brought to the site by punters and marked in memory of the deposited. Dunno of any examples where there is no burial and a collection of marked cobbles which might upset that idea .
I think most incisions are not defacements but the Glascorrie examples seem to be ,they are much later ,made with metal and often on rocks that are just not acessible to a plough plus the markings atre just too numerous , no ploughman would stand for it even if he could access the rock , so in these cases I reckon something similar to when a Christian cross has been applied ,if much more aggressive .you also get engravings that have been superimposed over other markings but within much the same time frame ,often in pasage tombs ,once again probaly something differnet ,not iconoclasm but the earlier stuff was maybe not up to the job or represenative of something that had changed like a Pharoah getting his name excised .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
7th November 2013ce
Plenty of places to go at so many thanks for that, no grid refs for Nant y Citiau though, the name sounds familiar.
Wossit's a great name isnt it, what else would you have called it ? thingy ?
All very interesting, something to think about.
postman Posted by postman
7th November 2013ce
mibbe because of this ?
tiompan Posted by tiompan
8th November 2013ce
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