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Long Barrow


Actually two long barrows in the same field.

These long barrows are part of the Black Mountains group of tombs.

OS map required

Permission to visited need from Ffostyll farm.

On unclassified road about 3km northeast of Talgarth.
Monuments are in a field to right and behind farmhouse.
Walk up a track a short distance.
Ahead are three gates on left, ahead and to right.
Take the one on the right.
Ffostyll South is visible ahead in the field.

This is the first time I have ever been intimidated by livestock. Rams, tupped or otherwise were in the field, and although content to urinate and growl around me when I was writing up fieldnotes for Ffostyll North, by the time I went back to Ffostyll South, one had decided he had had enough of me and then the other dozen or so took an interest. So be prepared if they are still there when you visit.

I know the idea of being threatened by sheep is amusing, but rams are quite large, and if they butt you onto the ground, they’ll probably keep doing it for a while. They do have impressive testicles mind, like badly inflated footballs.

Apparently if you leave them alone they won’t chase after you, but in my case they came up to me growling and dipping their heads and the only trees to climb there are the thorny hawthornes on the barrows.

Two long barrows 70m apart.

Partially excavated 1920-23.

There was once a round barrow nearby

Ffostyll North

The larger of the two, like Little Lodge, mature hawthorn trees up against the remaining stones causing root damage to the monument.

Measurements for the mound are given as 40m by 22m. It has been ploughed up to and livestock have had a go at it as well as previous excavations. A lot of stone scatter is present. It is orientated not far off west-east.

The is a surviving eastern chamber, consisting of five upright stones (no capstone) all around 1m in height and of similar lengths. The western and eastern sides of the chamber are comprised of two stones each, whilst the fifth stone is set traversely between the two pairs on either side, probably making it a blocking stone. The depth of the chamber is around 1.2m

The opposite end of the mound has many field clearance stones, some quite large which lie under the barbed wire fence which cuts up against the monument. Many of these must surely have once been part of the monument.

The centre of the mound has some very large and impressive flat stones, one which appears to be the broken halves of a large capstone. The measurements for these two stones are given as 2.7m long by 2.3m wide and 0.25m thick and the other 2.3m long by 0.9m wide and 0.12m thick.

To the southeast are four more. This is where my notes went to pot because of the rams, but I did write:
Front (west) about 1.3m apart two parallel ground breaking stumps about 0.4m long.
Mound f**ked, say 1m high.

Ffostyll South

My notes are abysmal for this one, as no sooner had I got onto the mound than I was intimidated off of it.

They read: mound higher nearly 2m. lot of small stone scatter from tiny to heavy.

However, measurements for the mound are given as 36m by 23m. Orientated northeast-southwest.

Towards the northern end are the visible remains of a single chamber comprising of seven stones. Four in a row making up the western side, two in a row making up the eastern side, and a single blocking stone set traversely at what remains of the north-eastern end of the chamber. Measurements for it are given as 3.3m by 1.2m. A large ‘covering slab’ at least 2.4m by 2.1m has been displaced to the south-west.
Posted by elderford
14th August 2003ce

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