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

Castell Bwa-Drain



Dawn upon the flanks of Pumlumon makes it clear that visits to Banc Llechwedd-mawr, Drosgol... or even Dinas... will have to wait for another day. Clearly yesterday's weather window, allowing a visit to Pen Pumlumon-Arwystli's cairns, has been comprehensively slammed shut with a vengeance! That's yer lot.

So, what was the name of that hillfort Kammer liked so much, then? OK...nice name.. hopefully a visit here will save the day from going down the proverbial drain. So, a steep, single track road heads south from the A44 towards Ystumtuen, from where an equally minor route heads beneath the transmitter upon Ffynnon Wen to Bwa-Drain farm. Here it is necessary to open a gate to proceed further. This I do, parking beside a field gate proclaiming no entry due to a dangerous excavation of some kind or other. Beyond rise what appear to be quite substantial ramparts of a pretty impressive hillfort. Nice. If only I had the weather to match, instead of this driving, horizontal rain. Then again if I had, I wouldn't be here, would I? Damn the logic, but the sensible part of Gladman is right. Luckily the 'other' part is not so sensible and happy to venture out in the storm....

I head a little way back down the road to the farm and take the short public footpath towards the site, encountering the ruined building Kammer mentions en route. The hillfort is a classic promontory fort, a quite powerful rampart isolating the enclosure from the hinterland to the north, east and west (approx), the gorge of Cwm Rheidol all that was thought - and by any accounts was - necessary to defend the south. And what a gorge! Despite the swirling mist and downpour, the view of The Afon Rheidol looking along the valley to the west is breathtaking, it really is. And to think this splendid river has its source within Llyn Llygad-Rheidol beneath Pen Pumlumon Fawr. Ha! Several handsome ponies eye me suspiciously as I walk the ramparts - as well they might - but clearly decide I can be ignored. So what's new?

A shrill whistle and a stream of smoke - not easy to distinguish from the swirling cloud - announce the arrival of one of Wales' 'little trains' across the cwm, the punters on board no doubt none too pleased at the weather outside. Hey, but perched up here, despite the rain lancing straight into my face to find every minute gap in my defences, I find I have fallen in love with Castell Bwa-Drain. What appear to be natural rocky outcrops look to have been utilsed by the original occupants as additional, outer defences, together with two 'spurs' to the north.

I leave hammered, yet happy. No photos, but then this visit was perhaps something that was supposed to be of the moment. Or something like that.
24th September 2010ce
Edited 24th September 2010ce

Comments (1)

Ah, true dedication. I feel drenched just reading that. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
24th September 2010ce
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