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


Long Barrow


Clear skies at the Severn Bridge morph into heavy, low cloud at Talgarth, the sweeping ridges of the Black Mountains engulfed by opaque vapour. Damn, no climbing today, then. Bloody forecasters...... Fortunately one of the many benefits of also having megalithomania (or whatever) is that no such weather constraints apply to visiting ancient sites. I therefore take the opportunity to visit perhaps the finest in the area, tucked behind Ffostyll farm beneath the great northern escarpment of the aforementioned mountains. Some 'plan B'.

To be honest I don't like knocking at farm doors to ask permission to visit my heritage... you know somehow it doesn't seem 'right' .... but it would be no issue at all if all farmers were like the occupant of this farm. The man's genuinely interested in the beauties in his field, enthusiastically relating how he found microliths in the vicinity and only too aware of the long tradition he is upholding. He's also about the best weather forecaster I've come across, as subsequent events will prove. Right on!

A short sqwelch through typical farmyard surroundings brings the visitor to the required field. I'm surprised by the remaining size of the two long cairns - although obviously somewhat damaged - and delighted by the surviving chamber stones upon both. Bonus! The northern example is by far the more substantial, the eastern chamber 'protected' by massed nettles and the ubiquitous 'thorny tree' - where's Mam Cymru when you need her?

The southern also possess some significant stonework - for these parts anyway - but it is once again the skyline which elevates Ffostyll above the usual, the barrow-topped flat summit of Y Das prominent to the left of the Y Grib ridge, itself 'be-cairned'. Then again I probably eulogise too much since I love this area. If you come I believe you will, too.

Great surroundings, great vibe and substantial remains. Couldn't really ask for more.
26th September 2009ce

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