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

Samson's Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir


Standing in a field, near Ty'n-y-seler, is a large monolith or maenhir 8 feet high, 5 1/2 feet wide, and 3 feet thick. Miss Emily David, Maesgwyn, informed me that it is said in the neighbourhood this huge stone goes each Christmas morning before cockcrow to drink in the sea.


Mr. Evan John, of Ty'n-y-Seler, recently told me of a large stone lying on Margam Moors, and of the tradition in the neighbourhood about it, that Samson threw it from near the "Pound" at Margam, to where it lies, five-sixths of a mile away. I found it to be a maenhir lying on the ground, partly covered with earth and over-grown by a thorn-bush. Having regard to its position it may have had some relation to the maenhir at Ty'n-y-Seler, from which it stands north-west about one and an eighth mile, and half a mile outside of Kenfig Borough boundary to the north, in Margam Parish. The stone measures nine feet in length, six feet in width, and one foot in thickness, but a large flake of stone near had evidently been split off it, so that it was formerly much thicker. It probably weighed nearly four tons originally and must have been an imposing monument when upright. When the ditch was made near the stone, in the time of the monks, it was carried partly round it, and I have no doubt the digging of the ditch caused the fall of the stone.
This maenhir stood in a peculiar position, for at high-water of spring tides, before the first of the sea walls was constructed, it would be surrounded by the tidal waters.
From 'The Buried City of Kenfig' (ch. 8) by Thomas Gray (1909).

One would have hoped that the fairies might have protected the latter stone (it having its thorn bush and everything). But I fear that if it were north west of the Ty'n-y-Selar stone, it's either in the reservoir or trampled by the railway or the steelworks. One can only hope against hope that it's safe somewhere. They're seemingly quite good directions. Maybe it's possible to figure out where it ought to be /have been.

Incidentally I didn't realise how tall the stone is? It's quite hard to imagine from Hamish's loving photographs.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th December 2009ce
Edited 18th December 2009ce

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