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Y Garnedd (Y Moelwynion)

Ring Cairn


Y Garnedd means 'The Cairn' in Welsh... which is perhaps not that surprising since this c1,811ft peak, rising above Llyn Morwynion (Lake of The Maidens), is crowned by a massive Bronze Age monument of the 'ring cairn' variety.

Suffice to say, the mountain has 'form' since Llyn Morwynion, while not specifically namechecked, nevertheless appears to feature in The Mabinogion... since we learn Blodeuedd, upon hearing that the wizard Gwydion was hot in pursuit:

"...took her maidens with her and made for a court that was on the mountains, and over Cynfal river they made for a court that was on the mountain. But through fear they could not proceed save with their faces looking backwards. And then, never a thing knew they before they fell into the lake, and were all drowned save she alone.."

A visit to the ancient stone pile is recommended (a surfeit of quarry workings notwithstanding) since there are some fantastic views to be had from the summit. Hey, the archaeology's pretty impressive, too, although I did wonder whether - having noted over the years how a number of Welsh summit cairns incorporate pre-existing crags within the structure - this was actually originally intended as a ring cairn? A crafty attempt to save effort, or symbolic incorporation of the living rock into the monument? Ermm. Let's go with the latter, eh? Having said that, the professionals are pretty sure, Coflein reckoning:

A ring cairn located around the summit of Y Garnedd...It has a diameter of 12m, mainly consisting of turf-covered stonework 0.2 - 0.3m high, with a pronounced kerb in places. It is best preserved on the NE and NW sides, the S side partly formed from a natural outcrop. In the centre is a depression, but this appears to have been scooped out in modern times. There is an arc-shaped pile of stones on its E side, and slabs to the W which may be natural....." [W B Horton, H & H, 10/01/2014].

Y Garnedd is most easily approached via a track above Llyn Dubach beside the B4407 from Ysbyty Ifan.
17th May 2022ce
Edited 17th May 2022ce

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