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Afon y Dolau Gwynion

Chambered Cairn

<b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMANImage © Robert Gladstone
Nearest Town:Llanfyllin (12km E)
OS Ref (GB):   SJ019230 / Sheet: 125
Latitude:52° 47' 42.96" N
Longitude:   3° 27' 18.29" W

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<b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Afon y Dolau Gwynion</b>Posted by GLADMAN


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Bit of an enigma, this.... apparently only (re)discovered upon its hilltop during 1993 [in retrospect the question must be, in this day and age .... how come?!?] I only became aware of this chambered tomb's existance thanks to the local archaeological trust, CPAT. Cheers, people. Consequently my frame of mind was, to be honest, more that a little 'yeah, right... we'll see' as, facing down the local farm yard dog at Ty-croes, having parked at the road's terminus [rough, but no problem here], I follow the continuing hard track, then grassy path uphill toward Bwlch Sych to the north-west. Here the fence line literally leads the traveller across the bisected remains of a Bronze Age round cairn (Carnedd Cerrig - reports of grave goods confirming authenticity) set overlooking the Afon Barog, another such monument apparently set below to the north (I can't locate it, however). The positionning is excellent, with fine views... a bonus site always more than welcome.

From Carnedd Cerrig I follow the fenceline westwards to its junction with a north-south boundary. Here, a keen, 'clued-up' eye should discern the chambered cairn surmounting the left hand crest of the green hillside rising upon the western skyline. Unfortunately my vision possesses neither criterion, so I assume the cluster of stones perched above the deep gulley formed by the Afon Y Dolau Gwynion represents the shattered remnants of the monument. Yeah, should've gone to Specsavers, then. Struggling across the aforementioned watercourse, two prostrate stones, looking remarkably like capstones, apparently confirm my assumption. Oh well. Lovely spot, worth the effort... and more, or less, what I'd expected. Time for lunch, methinks. WRONG!

Thankfully, however, the usual Gladman 'I'll just go for a wander to see what's over there' kicks in to save the day. Well, it'd be rude not to, would it not?... barbed wire fences... or no barbed wire fences. And there it is. To be frank, a rather obvious chambered cairn, sitting in a fine spot crowning the crest to the approx south. Granted, the capstones are missing - what price they sit upon the 'field clearance' I've just vacated? - but numerous orthostats remain, the whole monument pleasingly substantial, particularly so for such an obscure, Mid Walian site.

Needless to say this chambered cairn possesses just about the perfect, windswept vibe. Hell, I'd be gob-smacked if anyone - save a CPAT dude - has ever intentionally ventured here during the past two or three-odd millennia, such is the 'feeling' hanging in the air. I mean, I only arrived at the correct location by chance... or - to be fair - thanks to an overly inquisitive nature. Thanks mum. What a gift, an inquisitive nature! Reclining within the roofless chamber it seems very odd, indeed, that this monument could have been 'lost' - to the point of oblivion - for so long. Granted, these bare, high hills sandwiched between the heather-clad Y Berwyn to the east and the mighty Aran ridge, are not exactly the most popular of hillwalking destinations, despite their proximity to Llyn Efyrnwy, so beloved of tourists. But nevertheless.....

So, feeling jaded by visits to too may well known sites? Happen to be in the upper regions of Mid Wales? I have an antidote, my friends. You won't find this on your satnav. I assume, not having one of the bloody things. Or even on the OS map. But nevertheless it is here. I promise you that.
16th March 2012ce
Edited 10th June 2012ce


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Very obscure one, this.... doesn't feature upon any OS map I've seen and Coflein (currently) have no details either.... However CPAT (PRN 7820) have this to say:

'Discovered during rapid upland survey in 1993. Roughly rectangular chamber with 3 orthostats on the NE seeming to form a constricted entrance. Capstones missing. Chamber surrounded by low stony bank probably the result of digging out the chamber from its covering mound and augmented by modern dumping. Most closely resembles a passage grave but other exemplars of that group are distant. The upland situation is unusual for chambered tombs in N Wales (Gibson, 2002, pp2-4).'

So there you are. One of Wales' great lost tombs, perhaps?
3rd November 2011ce