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Television made me do it.

One day earlier this year I was at work and my buddy asked me if I was aware of a new programme on tele tomorrow, he said it was about Stonehenge, I'm sad to say I wasn't aware. But keen to watch I turned on, tuned in, and then absolutely dropped out.
I'm sure anyone interested also saw it, and talked about it at length, I know not everyone was but I've got to say, I was pretty convinced. I continued thinking about it for days, and a plan arose in my mind, Craig Rhosyfelin had long been known as a match for certain Stonehenge bluestones, and was on my now dwindling list of places still to see in Wales, but Alice on the tele had shown me a couple of new places to be interested in, Carn Goedog another bluestone source, and Waun Mawn once thought to be a stone row or perhaps even a remnant stone circle though with few champions, til now.

The plan was a simple one, get in car, drive to south wales, and see these sites for myself. The Preseli hills are about a four hour drive from my house and quite an expensive road trip so to sweeten the deal as it were I decided to get there early and attempt a solstice sunrise at Waun Mawn.
I did indeed get there early for a change, too early in fact, time for a much needed nap before standing on a hill top at 5am. Napped and ready I drive from the car park back down the road to the cattle grid and park my car by another one. A gate leads one on to the open moor then a path turns off to the right, it is taken and and as I walk on I can hear voices, I'm now reminded of a question my buddy asked a couple of days ago, "will anyone else be there"? infernal people, I responded in the time worn manner of "I hope not".
Getting to the site I counted fifteen others, two of which said woof and eyed me up.

Waun Mawn Row / Circle — Images

<b>Waun Mawn Row / Circle</b>Posted by postman<b>Waun Mawn Row / Circle</b>Posted by postman<b>Waun Mawn Row / Circle</b>Posted by postman<b>Waun Mawn Row / Circle</b>Posted by postman<b>Waun Mawn Row / Circle</b>Posted by postman

So this is definitely the site of a once amazing stone circle, rivaling in excellence such sites as Castlerigg and the Rollrights, but is it the original home of the Stonehenge blue stones? I need more convincing, why didn't they take all the stones? are the stones that remain the same as the Stonehenge blue stones, too many questions arise, so, for now I couldn't possibly say.
What I can say is, it was a very good sunrise, I was comfortably in time, I had a stone to sit on while the sun rose and the naked ladies danced their mesmerising twirl of wonder, only one of those things happened, what two ladies did do though was blow on their big horns, (one of them told interested onlookers it once belonged to someone who used to go to the Isle of White festival, I reckon it came out the arch druids a**e) this was done to signify the moment of sunrise I presume, which was good because I was thinking about something else at the time and didn't notice the super giant ball of flaming gas entering our view.

As a site to visit it doesn't have much to recommend it, only one stone still stands, two have fallen and there's a possible stump of a stone, they are all in an arc of a circle so I cant really see why a stone row appellation got applied. It seemed very clear to me to be the site of a large stone circle, it's got outliers, and with good views to both ends of the solstices, like that other place. So where did all the stones go?

It's beyond me. So I go for a look at where they might have come from, as if that might furnish me with answers. On the way back to the car I have a look at some outliers? a single standing stone and a pair of single standing stones, the pair are close together.

Waun Mawn Stone — Images

<b>Waun Mawn Stone</b>Posted by postman

Tafarn y Bwlch — Images

<b>Tafarn y Bwlch</b>Posted by postman

Back in the car I return to Brynberian and keep going out the other side but just before Crosswell turn sharply left, just after going through a ford park the car and a footpath across the road leads to Craig Rhosyfelin.
Entering the field it is not visible until you round a corner and my first thought was ooh its quite big isn't it?
Viewed from the north east it looks pyramidal almost, then as you move round it extends it's back until it fits into the surrounding hill side. There are a few menhir like blocks of stone at the foot of the outcrop, whether they are what they look like I don't know.
I go for a walk up its right hand side, if you come at it my way you'll know which is the right side, the small path takes you up the hill and gives you a spellbinding view of the big outcrop and its little valley.

Craig Rhosyfelin — Images

<b>Craig Rhosyfelin</b>Posted by postman<b>Craig Rhosyfelin</b>Posted by postman<b>Craig Rhosyfelin</b>Posted by postman

I sat here for a while, it was nearly half six in the morning, only nature, farmers and me were moving about, the little stream babbled, the birds sang, the sun warmed and the land rovers struggled to haul livestock up the hill road next to us, you cant have everything, right?

In my effort to have everything it was now time to go have a look at that other possible/probable blue stone source Carn Goedog. It is unfortunately for me not as easily accessed as Craig Rhosybobin, it is a long walk up and over the Mynydd, but by happy chance maybe, I would get to have another look at Bedd Arthur.
The walk was long, it took about an hour, last time I was here 12 years ago I had my then 10 year old daughter with me so at least had someone to talk to, she never complained once about the long walk, unlike me, wheres my damn electric mountain bike, oh yeah they're dead expensive.
Passing through the clutter of Carn Bica the half pint stones of Bedd Arthur come into view I scurry down to them cast off my fleece and camera bag and lay down in the Bedd, it was comfy, not too soft or too hard just right for staring sideways at the base of a stone, green on the right blueish to the left, I'll stand back up.

Bedd Arthur — Images

<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by postman<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by postman<b>Bedd Arthur</b>Posted by postman

I'm now not convinced it's a horse shoe shape at all, the open end does have a stone in it, all be it very low, but that seems to confuse even further, is it a horse shoe, a big U, or Britain's most elliptical stone circle. Pffffft, I'm getting used to the answer to such questions
being I guess we'll never know, not if we don't excavate we wont.

Directly north from Bedd Arthur and Carn Bica over the side of the hill is the massive outcrop known as Carn Goedog, The wooded Cairn ?

Carn Goedog — Images

<b>Carn Goedog</b>Posted by postman<b>Carn Goedog</b>Posted by postman<b>Carn Goedog</b>Posted by postman<b>Carn Goedog</b>Posted by postman<b>Carn Goedog</b>Posted by postman

I'm remembering a specific part of the TV programme where Mike the beard is standing among the rocks pointing out likely menhirs in waiting, it's that that I want to find and won't consider the site seen until then. So I give it a really good scrambling over, so good that I almost don't have time to see the last place on my list.
The place is beautiful and exhilarating, from up here I can see where Bedd Yr Afanc is and Moel Drygarn with it's trio of cairns and a hill fort, and of course I can see the hill that started this mornings odyssey, from up here I can see maybe why they used more stone from here than they did at Bob Rhosyfelin it's all up hill from Craig and almost no uphill at all if they follow the contours of the hill from here. Not conclusive is it?
If they did take stones from here were they dressed at all, I've heard one commentator say no stones were quarried from here because there's no detritus from the dressing of the stones, most stones I've seen don't look dressed at all, rather, as they came. But I'm still not an expert despite 25 years of stone hugging, some say I'm not even an expert mail carrier. I'm not sure my memory of the programme will allow me to pinpoint the place where Mike said his piece to camera about menhirs in waiting so I make do with photographing the whole place, which was at times dangerous and at all times brilliant, if they didn't take stones from here to stand up they were as stupid as us modern day guzzle monsters.

Modern day guzzle monster that I am I must consume more of the planets resources and get the yuk out of here, one more place on my days list is still outstanding but I wont know if I've got the time or if my eyes will stay open long enough for me to get there, so I drive.
Passing through Carmarthen I get on the M4 and head east, over the Prince of Wales bridge and I'm faced with a dilemma left for the M5 north or right staying on the M4 to Stonehenge, I couldn't resist, it just felt right, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't. But it's that day, that one day a year where a field in Wiltshire goes absolutely mental. How would I fare, I knew that it would now be closed to touching, I wasn't even going to stop and pay for a longing so near but so far look, but I would settle for a seat upon one of the Kings barrows. Alas it was all still blocked off to traffic and it was all taking too long, traffic was insane so I settled for the very least I could do and went for a very slow drive by along the A303.

Stonehenge — Images

<b>Stonehenge</b>Posted by postman

See that blue stone there? quick! yes the smaller ones, I went where that standing stone was born this morning, stood in the field where it spent it's youth, saw the summer solstice sunrise, then followed it halfway across the nation.
It's a small thing, perhaps a crazy thing, but I did a thing, I could have stayed in bed, I really like my bed, but this was better.
postman Posted by postman
22nd June 2021ce
Edited 22nd June 2021ce

Comments (1)

Thank you for a lovely ramble in a place I love and your thoughts along the way. I am not sure much more can be milked from the Stonehenge enigma but the archaeologist still go on trying.
Haven't watched it yet but here is the link..... Stonehenge - The Lost Circle Revealed.
moss Posted by moss
28th June 2021ce
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