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


Orsedd Wen


<b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postmanImage © Chris Bickerton
Nearest Town:Oswestry (6km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   SJ247340 / Sheet: 126
Latitude:52° 53' 51.95" N
Longitude:   3° 7' 10.26" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman <b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman <b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman <b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman <b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman <b>Orsedd Wen</b>Posted by postman


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I parked the ailing car right next to the footpath sign on the grassy verge, out of the way.
Taking the path north, slightly up hill, it snakes along in a dip views to the left and right are curtailed. I decided to cut across a field going left, as I got to the edge I could see the cairn looking striking up on it's hill top. Over the fence was a curious bank and ditch affair running straight north/south, I took a couple of pictures and hobbled up the slope to the cairn.
Coflein succinctly describes the cairn, but mutilated is a bit strong, yes it's been dug into, without much respect apparently, but, it's still all together, not much spreadage, a steep sided high cairn with much cairn material showing. I was quite taken with it, mutilated or not.
Selattyn hill and it's ring cairn was quite visible and close on the western skyline, north I could see the grassy balding hill of Graig Wea and it's cairn cemetery.
Just twenty yards from Orsedd Wen cairn is an old quarry, now used in several places as a rubbish dump, it is a blot on the landscape and unsightly to the eye.
Good cairn though.
It wasn't until I was on my way over to Selattyn hill that I realised what the long linear earthwork was, it was only Offas dyke, the best preserved section ive ever seen, but i haven't seen much, though I know man who has.
postman Posted by postman
19th January 2014ce
Edited 19th January 2014ce


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Several tumuli at one time existed on Selattyn Hill, and there are still the remains of one at "Orsedd Wen", which has been opened and which tradition connected with Gwen, the son of Llywarch Hen, who is said to have been slain on the adjacent Morlas, near "Prees Gwyn".
From a review of the "History of Selattyn Parish" in Archaeologia Cambrensis, Jan. 1898.

But I suspect this is no local tale at all but comes from a highly imaginative article in the same journal, back in 1851. The author seems desperate to prove the site contains the son of Llywarch Hen, using various tiny ambiguous snippets from old manuscripts, but he basicially ransacks the cairn - the poor occupant is not treated with any dignity. It's a strange combination of attitudes and if I met thedigger/author, W Wynne Foulkes, I think I'd give him a piece of my mind.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th May 2009ce
Edited 8th May 2009ce


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Coflein notes finds from this cairn:

A mutilated cairn, c.12.3m in diameter and 1.5m high, opened in 1850, producing a central inhumation, with charcoal and a riveted bronze dagger. Iron pieces found may have been intrusive.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
1st April 2011ce