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

Carn Wen, Garth (Llanwrthwl)

Round Cairn


Now I must, first off, confess as to having been certain I'd been here - to this VERY substantial upland Bronze Age cairn - before... venturing south from Trembyd in thick hill fog some years earlier. Haha, yeah. Needless to say, the unexpected sight of a truly massive cairn upon the northern horizon as I head for Garth this time around - where I reckoned no cairn should be - was sufficient cause for re-appraisal. Conclusion: map reading muppetry resulting in a vapour-shrouded audience with Carn-y-Geifr (not Carn Wen) back in the day. Ahem.

To be fair Carn Wen is unmistakable... once one knows what it looks like, that is. A Bronze Age behemoth some 78ft in diameter, albeit a little defaced by a couple of small modern 'marker' cairns and a curious 'shelter', set upon a high plateau of billowing grass. As is the case with most of Wales' other 'White Cairns' I have had the pleasure of visiting, this example is distinctly more of a 'battleship grey' hue. But none the worse for that, it has to be said.

All is quiet, save the equestrian - and rather striking - farmer's wife met earlier in the day thundering past upon her mount. A good place to be and take in the vast skies for a while. Best not attempt it in mist though... just saying. Unless you can actually read a compass.

Coflein records:

"A cairn, 23.8m in diameter and 0.8m high, having three projecting stone platforms about its E perimeter. Two small recent cairns and a double shelter have taken their place upon the cairn." [J.Wiles 23.04.02]
11th December 2021ce
Edited 18th January 2022ce

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