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Carreg Cennen (Sacred Well) — Miscellaneous

[Notes from 19th Sept 2014... deleted at the time after causing a farcical furore but resurrected following a visit to the cairn surmounting nearby Trichrug at Easter]:

Carreg Cennen. An evocative name to the (somewhat protruding) ears of an Englishman first brought here by his father during 1983 (Cestyll '83, as I recall), a boy with a head filled with incoherent images of 'something' that perhaps existed before what was quickly becoming, to him, the childish fallacy of organised religion... the hymns we were forced to sing at school.... but took subconscious delight in defying. Even then. Something burning within, something subsumed deep in the folk memory. Ancient Britains. Not desert people. Christianity irrelevant.

I arrive today, in the pouring rain, with more than an eye on re-visiting the not so distant (incredibly undervalued) hill fort of Garn Goch. Do so if you can. Parking in the rather busy car park, I wonder if it is actually a good idea to revisit times past? Would the somewhat cynical mind of the 45 year old render the magical experience of the initiate superfluous? In short, er, no. I purchase my ticket and ascend the track to the fortress perched upon its eyrie. The medieval fortifications are easily retrieved from my psyche... their imprint seared upon my impressionable mind years ago. Not so the very attractive lady - with an idiosyncratic canine companion and perfect figure - engaged with capturing the vibe for posterity upon her DSLR. Pure class. Superlatives come as standard at Carreg Cennen, the mind thrown into overdrive, with carnal base thoughts vying for attention with those upon an altogether higher plane. Unfortunately, the words do not flow from my brain to the tongue in any coherent manner.... as usual.

So... a rather steep flight of steps descend to a dark passage - lit by loopholes - to access the entrance to (one of) the caves which permeate this carboniferous limestone crag. This is something special, however. Really special indeed. The rough-hewn steps vanish into a more-or-less unfathomable gloom below.... so careful now. The eyes adjust a little, revealing a medieval outer wall, fashioned into 'pigeon holes' to accommodate, well, pigeons - funnily enough - to supplement the castle food supply. Within, a naked gash within the cliff face represents the threshold beyond which a torch will be required. To be fair I've been here before, feeling my way to the cave's terminus in utter darkness during the early 90's. Forgot a torch. And humans so need to appreciate where they are going, do they not? Ok, appreciate, if not necessarily understand.

I've borrowed the Mam C's torch today..... and advance down the narrow, undulating passage toward the very underworld itself. The thought that pre-Ice Age people were laid to rest within here, a proto-chambered tomb if ever there was one, blows my mind, the floor of the cave suddenly descending to afflict a stumble, walls as luminescent as marble, as apparently hydrated as a cascade, yet ironically dry to the touch. I reach the endpoint of the cave, my heart pounding as if in homage to New Order's iconic Oberheim DMX drum machine, my breath clouding my vision as upon a sub-zero December morning, my camera lens overwhelmed with vapour. Here, upon the right-hand flank, has been fashioned a small pool of water, inexorably replenished from water dripping from the roof. I extinguish the torch and eat my lunch in utter darkness, struggling to comprehend how such sensual deprivation can have such an opposite effect?

The flanks of the cave are engraved with graffiti, some inspiringly celebrating love, some utter moronic bollocks. The human experience, then? The instinctive baseline and the sublime. I refrain from recording my passage, of course, leaving behind merely a trace of my exhaled carbon dioxide and spilt coffee. Well, distant ancestors were laid to rest here, it has to be said. I ponder for a while and suppose I can see the reason why. Yeah, this place is not really that different from the Pavilland Cave visited earlier this year. If I'm anything to go by, the perceptive visitor's brain appears able to retrieve a fragment of what went before.... sorry, but I can't articulate any more than that. So come and experience for yourself.

Lodge Wood Camp (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

Thanks for the head's up here to Carl. The overwhelming scale of the defences of this massive hill fort is not at first apparent owing to the overgrown nature of the site. OK, distant views are very limited; however when the flora includes the seasonal magnificence of bluebell carpets to complement sunlight filtering through the tree canopy... well, I can live with that.

Unlike Carl, I headed east along the northern flank with the towering multi-vallate banks to my left, prior to heading through the interior of the enclosure to the western entrance. This is pretty impressive, it has to be said, although not suggestive of any complex defensive features. I found the southern flank more difficult to interpret owing to brambles etc, but there you are.

Note that, upon crossing the mighty River Usk, via an impressive bridge, and locating Lodge Road.... I then struggled to identify Lodge Hill. For reference, this is the road opposite the hospital. Lodge Hill terminates at 'The Paddocks' where it is possible to park roadside. A private road accesses the church, the gate to the latter's car park locked at the time of my visit. An old man tending the adjacent church garden appeared aghast that I had dared to stray from the path to view the ramparts. Always good to see how your loving Christian establishment welcomes all, isn't it? Rather than confront I choose to simply ignore. Saves time.

Carn-y-Gigfran (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

Having been away from the hills since last October, a visit to this superbly sited cairn - following on from several hours at the magnificent Carnau'r Garreg Las to the south - is something to savour. A chance to breathe new life into a psyche run ragged in the interim by Brexit, right-wing nationalists, evil far left anti-semitism and the lunacy of Corbyn... not to mention the serious damage inflicted upon the cause of those who care for this planet by the self-righteously hypocritical, simplistic adolescents of ER. I really do despair. Hence the need for some solace. And this unfrequented corner of western Y Mynydd Du is as good a location to achieve this upon an Easter Monday as any I know of.

Positioned right upon the lip of the western escarpment edge below and to the north of the OS trig point surmounting Carreg Yr Ogof, the old red sandstone stone pile, contrasting sharply with the fragmented limestone landscape of the higher cairns, possesses a wondrously sweeping view toward a distant, iconic Carreg Cennen... not to mention numerous other upland cairns prominent upon their respective summits/ridges.

The calming influence is palpable, things seemingly put back into perspective. At least for a couple of hours. Hey, surely we can work things out, gain consensus through dialogue. Like adults. Can't we? Following a sojourn at Carn y Gigfran the battery is recharged for another attempt.

As indicated, Carn y Gigfran can be incorporated within a visit to the superb Carnau'r Garreg Las if the traveller sees fit to approach from Cwm Sawdde to the north-west. It is possible to (carefully) leave a car by the crossroads at approx SN756228, south of Penmaen.

Carn Goch Hill Fort (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Carn Goch Hill Fort</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Carn-y-Gigfran (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Trichrug (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Trichrug</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Crug y Biswal (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Crug y Biswal</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Crug y Biswal</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Crugiau Giar (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Crugiau Giar</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Carnau'r Garreg Las (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Lodge Wood Camp (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Lodge Wood Camp</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Carn-y-Gigfran (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carn-y-Gigfran</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Carnau'r Garreg Las (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Carnau'r Garreg Las</b>Posted by GLADMAN

Crugiau Giar (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

A pair of substantial, grassy round cairns gracing the southern apex of Mynydd Llanllwni. Coflein (J.Wiles 01.10.03) has their dimensions as:

Northern cairn:
"A much robbed & mutilated round cairn, 30m in diameter & 1.9m high, showing possible kerb stones on the N side..."

Southern cairn:
"A centrally mutilated round cairn, 21m in diameter & 1.6m high"

I approached from the minor road to approx southwest near the farm of Clyniau. Note that the cairns can not be seen from the road so I'd suggest a compass bearing would be a good idea in misty weather. Better safe than sorry.

Crugiau Giar (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Crugiau Giar</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Crugiau Giar</b>Posted by GLADMAN<b>Crugiau Giar</b>Posted by GLADMAN
Showing 1-50 of 11,206 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Hi, I'm Robert ... aka Citizen Cairn'd. I've a passion for attempting to understand the lives of the pioneering prehistoric inhabitants of these British Isles, seeking out the remains they left behind in order to ask myself "why here ... why did it matter so... why such commitment?". Needless to say I'm still pondering such intangibles. Just as an empty house appears to retain echoes of past humanity... so does the stone circle, the chambered cairn, the long barrow and the mountain top funerary cairn. Visiting them, I think, helps engender a certain 'connection' with this land of ours, with ourselves - our past, our present and our future; a reference point for those of us perhaps struggling to make sense of this so-called 'computer world' Kraftwerk warned us was a'coming in 1981.... danke, mein herren.

George Orwell - '...during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act'....

Martin Gore - 'Like a pawn
On the eternal board
Who’s never quite sure
What he’s moved towards
I walk blindly on'...

Truman Capote - 'Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.'

Oscar Wilde - 'The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.'

John Lydon - 'It is a reward to be chastised by the ignorant.'

Winston Churchill - 'The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.'

Ultravox - 'Taking shelter by the standing stones
Miles from all that moves....'

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