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

Castell y Gwynt, Y Glyderau

Natural Rock Feature


As we approached the peak of Glyder Fach the low clouds drifted in and we completely lost any distant views, so we concentrated on what was there. The cantilever, the stone that hangs over the edge of other stones, was smaller than I thought it was, but I still clambered round and under and on top of it, I was very nervy, among the giant boulders are deep and nasty crevices. The very very peak of the mountain is only a stones throw away. Massive and pointy boulders make up the summit, perfect for clambering all over, so long as you don't look down the pits and holes, they are very deep in places. Two or three boulders occupy the very top and they are worn smooth by the tonnes of eager feet that just have to get to the utmost top and all the tired and weary bums, like mine.

Now and then, fleetingly, a large formless shape would half materialise through the low clouds, like it wasn't really there at all, if no one can see it is it still there? it could only be one thing, Castell y Gwynt, we made off through the pea soup towards it.
Soon the shape in the cloud started to take on a definite form, it became rooted in this reality, and showed itself to be a, well, a natural feature ? Rocky outcrop ? a rock stack ? none of these are enough, but they are all right. From the north east monstrous spires of rock jut mostly straight up, we can see someone standing on top, striking a manly pose and showing us that you can get to the top. But you have to go round the side a bit to find a less dangerous way up, and as you get in among the castell it gets bigger and taller. Alken has to get to the top, i'm only a few meters beneath him but I decide here is enough for me, my legs are shaking so I take a precipitous seat and have a very satisfying smoke.
Far beneath me I can see llyn Cwmffynnon, and I think I can even pin point the location of the stone circle there too, far away to the south west, but close enough for the Hulk to jump to, is Yr Wyddfa, the big one, Snowdon, and it's nearby neighbours, afternoon sunlight bathes there lower reaches but with their heads in the clouds they remain aloof, for now.
We realise with downplayed concern that time has gotten away from us, so we start the scramble down off the Cathedral of rock, this giants castle in the sky has me very much taken with it. We keep on turning back to take one last look before we yomp our way up to cloud wreathed Glyder Fawr, and it's from here, south west of the Castell that the full size of it all is revealed, it's so much more than a castle, it is just huge, almost completely blocking the ridge between Glyders. Its as big as a small town. I couldn't help feeling that there are no cairns here because this was the abode of the gods, you could come up here and do the things that the ancients do (Vague?) but you couldn't stay.
This is a very important site in understanding Bronze age Snowdonia.

The summit of Glyder Fawr is less rocky than its twin across the way, but it's higher and similarly cloud make it devoid of any views. We don't linger long, instead we bid a very fond farewell to Y Glyderau and head for the path that leads down to the Devils kitchen, but just before we go we are rewarded with the view of the top of Snowdon and friends, from here they look very high and very formidable, more high ridges than you can shake a walking stick at, I will need to work my way up to them.
The path soon veers off to the right, and then plunges off the edge of a cliff and into the lovely Cwm Idwal. The path is a real tour de force, a masterpiece of path making, imagine the stairway at the back door into Mordor, it was impossibly steep at times, often the path is not detectable for more than ten feet, where is it going next ? Punctuated with waterfalls, and with a full on view of Pen Yr Ole Wen and with the ever present, never out of view for long Tryfan, this was an epic footpath, The Devils kitchen, brilliant.
postman Posted by postman
17th September 2013ce
Edited 17th September 2013ce

Comments (10)

Brilliant indeed. I still can't really believe the stairs down the cliff. What a place this all is. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
17th September 2013ce
Blimey that was quick.
I'm still buzzing from it all now, and my legs are still tender to the touch.
postman Posted by postman
17th September 2013ce
Great notes Postie. Sounds a fantastic place to visit. Posted by CARL
17th September 2013ce
Wonderful post and marvellous photos of this Tolkienesque place.
moss Posted by moss
17th September 2013ce
It is a fantastic place to visit Carl, more fantastic than any photo can convey.Perhaps when Dafydd is older you can show him a mountain with the same name.

Thanks moss, I don't know a huge amount about Mr Tolkien, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that he based some places in his books on real places like this one.
postman Posted by postman
17th September 2013ce
Looks, and sounds, like a belter! Good stuff.

And smoking up a mountain - Top marks.
Evergreen Dazed Posted by Evergreen Dazed
17th September 2013ce
Best place for it. postman Posted by postman
17th September 2013ce
Always wondered whether Darwin actually made it here... I understand he certainly had a wander in Cwm Idwal.

No doubt he would have approved of your wonder at the experience. Guess I did something right - for once - adding this on.
17th September 2013ce
Wandering and wondering in Cwm Idwal, tripping over all the time not looking where i'm going.
Something right just once ?
Come now, you're an inspiration .
postman Posted by postman
17th September 2013ce
"Something right just once ?
Come now, you're an inspiration ."

Seconded, and then some. I would never have got this Welsh mountain bug without your contributions Gladman, and I would have missed out on something beyond special.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
17th September 2013ce
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