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

Bryn Gwyn

Stone Circle


From the Gentleman's Magazine for 1799, volume 69; part of William Hutton's 'Remarks on a Tour in Wales'. I don't think the author made many friends that day, when he turned up in Caernarvon with his servant. For goodness' sake, of the passengers on the ferry "not one could speak English"! And as for the poor lad who was 'kindly ordered' by Esq. Floyd to conduct him to the Druidic remains - well, "whether he could speak Welsh, I know not, for I did not hear him speak a word in any language during his stay." Teenagers eh. Still, they got to Bryn Gwyn in the end:
Here was the court of justice for civil and religious purposes.. Here too was a principal place of worship, being in the vicinity of the Arch-druid's palace. Their church was a circle of upright stones, with a large one at the center. But the ignorant country people, imagining money was hid under them, recently tore them up, which destroyed, perhaps, the oldest cathedral in Europe. I am sorry Mr. Floyd suffered it; but that which is seen every day excites no attention.

Some of the stones are scattered, others brought into use. One of them, which is 12 feet by 7, exclusive of what is sunk in the earth, stands upright, and forms exactly the gable end of the house, for I saw but one in Bryn Gwyn. Another of the same size is also erect, and forms a fence for the garden. By what power they raised these ponderous masses I did not enquire, for I could not be favoured with one word of English.

Three only of the stones of the Temple are standing, which form a triangle, are about 4 feet high, and 24 asunder. I was now about two miles from the Menai and one North of the road which leads from the ferry to Newborough.

About 200 yards West, close by the river Breint (chief, or royal river), is the Astronomer's Stone; but why the learned in that day should take their observations in a valley, I leave to the learned in this. They seemed to be a cluster of rocks, five or six yards high, which I did not visit.
Continuing to be obsessed with druids and the nerve of the local people not speaking English, he also mentions Tre'r Dryw and Tre'r Dryw Bach which are earthworks to the north of Bryn Gwyn. It's not clear how old these are - you can read about them on the Coflein database, and here at Castell Bryn-Gwyn?. The excerpt above is online at Google Books.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th March 2007ce
Edited 16th March 2007ce

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