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




Pen-y-Fan and its companion, Corn Du, are the summit peaks of the Brecon Beacons at 2,907ft and 2,863ft respectively.

By far the most recognisable mountains in South Wales because of their enigmatic 'flat tops' - the result of a layer of hard 'plateau bed' rock upon the soft Old Red Sandstone - it's hardly surprising these high places were venerated by the ancient cairn builders.

Not a great deal remains of Pen-y-Fan's summit cairn nowadays - the monument having been reconstructed, following excavation in 1991 - but what does exist only adds to the 'other worldliness' of this magnificent viewpoint. To be buried here must have been the Bronze Age equivalent of a spot in Westminster Abbey.... only many times more relevant being 'up here'.

The summit of Pen-y-Fan is not a quiet spot by any means, the eroded footpath scars testament to the many thousands of visitors who make the pilgrimage, for one reason or another, every year, a high percentage from the Storey Arms to the west. But find yourself a perch upon the crags a little below the summit to the north, gaze down into beautiful Cwm Llwch with its circular tarn, a cwm resplendent with ancient tales, and Pen-y-Fan remains an awesome place to be indeed. Just make sure you don't forget the sandwiches the Mam Cymru had lovingly prepared. Doh!
17th June 2009ce
Edited 31st May 2010ce

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