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Round Barrow(s)

<b>Pentrehobyn</b>Posted by JohnAkoImage © JohnAko 2011
Also known as:
  • Dol yr Orsedd

Nearest Town:Mold (2km W)
OS Ref (GB):   SJ248626 / Sheet: 117
Latitude:53° 9' 17.44" N
Longitude:   3° 7' 28.91" W

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<b>Pentrehobyn</b>Posted by JohnAko <b>Pentrehobyn</b>Posted by JohnAko <b>Pentrehobyn</b>Posted by JohnAko


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This site and the other I recently added (Nercwys Mountain Cairn) are just two of a number grouped in fairly close proximity in and around the Alyn Valley near my home town of Mold. I have held a keen interest in ancient sites/stones/monuments since being taken to Stonehenge in the late 1960's and it was these local sites that rekindled that interest a few years ago and again more recently the findings of a CPAT/CADW during a dig in 2010.

In reply to Howburn Digger's question the view in the photos is from the gate of the Pentrehobyn Estate right next to an occupied lodge across a stretch of open field alongside the estate driveway. I have never asked nor ventured further than the gate so not sure whether access would be granted. It is just off the roundabout on the A494 approx 100yds along the B5444 road to Wrexham. You have to park in the industrial estate adjacent to the roundabout and walk the short distance.

I can't help but think that Pentrehobyn, or the people responsible for its building, must have some links with those of the famous Bryn-yr-Ellyllon (site of the 'Gold Cape' now in the British Museum), Llong Barrow, Rhual Isaf Barrow and Penbedw, etc. making me also believe that my humble local patch was rather quite important at one time.

Pentrehobyn is described by Coflein as a "sub circular mound, 26-33m diameter and 1.7m high". Its a very 'neat', undisturbed mound visually and I'm sure that there is a line-of-sight from it to the peak of Moel Famau (mother mountain), so perhaps no coincidence?

The recent CPAT dig is published in their Report no.1078 and it concerns a "large ring-ditch burial mound" some 44m in diameter. This is a relatively large ring-ditch shown up by crop marks in the field directly opposite the Pentrehobyn site. This adds strength to the possible links theory mentioned earlier. It should be noted that not all the sites in this locality have any real visible evidence remaining (eg Llong, almost totally ploughed out) and Penbedw Barrow/Stone Circle and Rhual Isaf Barrow are also on private land (but much easier to get to unseen).

Worth spending 10mins here if passing on a day out to take in others.
Posted by JohnAko
9th November 2011ce


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Also at Pentrehobyn there was a standing stone.
The Dol Yr Orsedd Stone.
To the Editors of the Archaeologia Cambrensis.
Gentlemen, -- About 35 or 40 years ago, when the Mold and Wrexham turnpike road was being made, it was found necessary, in order to give it the width required by statute, to remove a venerable Maen Hir, which stood in a meadow called Dol yr Orsedd, near Pentre hobin, about one mile and a quarter from Mold.

At its base a dagger and some human bones were found, which were then taken possession of by the late Mr. Matther, owner of the meadow. I was recently informed by this gentleman's widow, that the dagger measured about 5 or 6 inches in length, and that it was appropriated by some person unknown several years ago. Mrs. Matther kindly gave me the bones, requesting that I would bury them. They were enclosed in paper, which had an endorsement in Mr. Matther's hand-writing, stating that by supposition they were the bones of a British warrior.

The stone now lies prostrate, close to the hedge at the north-east corner of the meadow. It measures about 9 feet in length, and appears to have been sunk about 3 feet in the ground. It is of quadrangular form, measuring in breadth about 2 feet across the part which was inserted in the ground, and above that part, about 2 1/2 feet, and in depth across the part which was inserted in the ground about 1 1/2 feet, and above it about 1 foot. The part of the stone which was buried in the earth appears to have been roughly splintered or chiselled down, on two sides, thinner than the rest.

.. W.W. Ff.
From Archaeologia Cambrensis v14, 1849.

Is it still under the ground? Or is half of it lurking as a gatepost? Or is it gone completely now?
..This maenhir cannot now be traced, and it is believed to have been broken or removed many years ago. But it may be remarked that in the adjoining meadow west of Dol yr orsedd is a limestone gate post of unusual size, 4 feet 6 inches above ground, 2 feet broad and 16 inches thick. This may be the old maenhir of Dol yr orsedd, utilised to serve a different purpose, and it may have stood upon a low mound forming the "gorsedd" which gave its distinguishing name to the meadow. -- Visited, 12th June, 1910.
from the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire Flint Inventory for 1912.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd January 2012ce
Edited 22nd January 2012ce