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

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Great Orme and its Environs — News

"Blodwen" comes home!

The 5,000 yr old skeleton found on the Little Orme by quarrymen 123 yrs ago finally comes home to Llandudno and will be the centre of a major exhibition in April.

Anglesey (County) — News

Standing Stones of Anglesey

A photographic exhibition of the standing stones of Anglesey at Llandudno museum which may be interesting and a good coffee stop when returning from said stones. On until 28 Feb 2015.

Moel Arthur (Hillfort) — News

Bronze Age burnt mound found on Moel Arthur

A recent CPAT dig has unearthed a burnt mound and there are some good photographs with this article from The Leader newspaper.

Bryn-yr-Ellyllon (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

For sale ...........and now Edie Brickell & Steve Martin sing about it!

Bryn-yr-Ellyllon (Round Barrow(s)) — News

Bryn yr Ellyllon for sale

Your chance to own it! Well actually the house with the plaque built into its wall. The barrow is now not visible, but who knows what lies in the garden? Timeteam are you listening??

Coed Aber round house (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

Just added a pic I took on 3 April 2011 when I decided to walk back from the falls to the car on the other side of the valley. Crossed the bridge over the stream and ascended a couple of hundred yards to begin the walk down and came across several 'cairns' that appeared to have been recently dug and left open. I had forgotten about these until today and have not read anything about them since. For anyone who has not visited Aber is strewn with random stones as well as the round house, ancient woodland all making for a fantastic landscape and is a great day out with sight of Anglesey/Puffin Island looking back from the falls. With its sheltered position, iconic waterfall and access to plentiful water it is clear why it was settled in.

Coed Aber round house (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Coed Aber round house</b>Posted by JohnAko

Anglesey (County) — News

Iron Age relics return to island anglesey-55578-30950076/

Iron Age artefacts unearthed 70yrs ago will finally return to the island to be exhibited.

The spectacular group of 2000 yr old onjects were uncovered at Llyn Cerrig Bach on Anglesey as workmen dredged the lake in preparation for the extension of the runway at RAF Valley in 1942,

Read more at link.

Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham (Region) — News

Bronze Age Axe find at Treuddyn

A Wrexham metal-detecting butcher has found a bronze age axe and another unidentified tin item in a field at Treuddyn, near Mold, Flintshire. There are pictures and local news report at the link.

Nercwys Mountain (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Nercwys Mountain</b>Posted by JohnAko

Penbedw (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Passed by 15.1.12

Had no real intention to photograph this barrow today as I have passed Penbedw countless times as it is local, but today I passed it and had to turned around at Nannerch and come back. With the brilliant light and shade of a cold but bright day I could see a feature not noticed before. From my vantage point at the roadside you can clearly see what must be the distubance evidence from the 1860 excavation (Aubrey Burl "A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain..").

In the picture (also posted today) you can see a 'trench' dug into the barrow, unless of course this is an original entrance feature?

The round barrow lies in the same pasture as Penbedw Stone Circle which has doubted history in some people's view. However, the barrow was excavated in 1860 when "..large stones and urn sherds" were found.

Penbedw (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Penbedw</b>Posted by JohnAko

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by JohnAko

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Re-visited 21.12.11

Those familiar with this great site will know all about it, but two things struck me this morning as I waited alone for daybreak - why the junk and vandalism and the mysterious 'Owl Stick'?

A piece of broken, candle-wax encrusted vase at the base of the mound and plastic bottles and mud-hand prints and dawbings across the concrete lintel (the modern unsympathetic strenghtening) inside the chamber.

Who placed the 'Owl Stick' in the top of the mound?

This is one of my favourite sites, but have not yet ventured over to view it from the gorsedd stone. As the farmer was already inhis fields tending to his flock in the breaking light I chose to walk around the other side of the gorsedd, down the lane towards his farm and got a great new perspective of the site.

Until next time.

Bryn-yr-Hen-Bobl (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bryn-yr-Hen-Bobl</b>Posted by JohnAko

Bryn-yr-Hen-Bobl (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 21.12.11

I decided to spend the morning on Anglesey to revisit Bryn Celli Ddu & Bodowyr and make another attempt to get to Bryn yr Hen Bobl. I arrived before daybreak, overcast and damp. Like others before me I have tried to access Bryn yr Hen Bobl via Plas Newydd and failed and have been refused entry via the Plas Llanedwen driveway, but today I chose to drive further down the lane towards Moel-y-Don, past the entrance on right to Plas Coch holiday park and turned left down the approach lane to park at Llanedwen Parish Church. If you take a look at the OS map there is a 'path' (not a Public Footpath) marking the way from the church running parallel with the Straits towards Plas Newydd. Judging by the substantial gate pillars and steps/stone stiles this is quite possibly the route taken for Sunday services by residents of both Plas Newydd and Plas Llanedwen in days gone by. You can also pick out this route on Googlemaps.

This discovery was the highpoint of my day. Nobody but the sheep for company, no stealth required and polite 'please close gate' signs on the gates leading straight to the monument! There is a gate out of the grave yard at the rear of the church with another on the rise in the distance. Following the line of the hedge, through the distant gate you arrive low down in the field where Bryn yr Hen Bobl is sited. Tucked into the field perimeter I followed it about 250yds and there it was at the top of the field to my left.

The tree line on the right obscures the magnificent views of Snowdonia which were obviously one of the main reasons for its position. Looking up the field towards the mound you can appreciate its once grand appearance only spoilt today by a picket fence built around its one visible entrance.

This probably is private land, so just in case the 'man with gun' should appear or be watching me from afar today I went undercover of 'birdwatcher' (book & bins around my neck). This was also because when previously refused entry via Plas Llanedwen last year I was asked if I was one of 'those metal detectorists?'. Today it was smug smiles, coffee and home for tea - job done!

Pentrehobyn (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Pentrehobyn</b>Posted by JohnAko

Pentrehobyn (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

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.

Pentrehobyn (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

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

Nercwys Mountain (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Nercwys Mountain</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Nercwys Mountain</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Nercwys Mountain</b>Posted by JohnAko

Nercwys Mountain (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

This is on 'my patch' and I have visited it numerous times over the past few years. It is very accessible and is mentioned on the nearby info/interpretation board. Until recently there has not been too much visible evidence of its existence other than the piles of cairn material which have obviously been excavated/robbed out of its centre leaving a deep hollow. I visited again on Sunday 30 October 2011 and was pleasantly surprised.

It is listed by Coflein (NPRN 307082) as having "...possible original kerbing visible within the cairn" and having been "....centrally robbed c1884."

There has now been some clearance of bracken/shrubs from the site and this has revealed what look to me like the kerbstones referred to by the Coflein record. There are 7/8 fairly large kerbstones forming an arc (of an oval, not circle in my view) within the cairn and I can see/feel evidence of others beneath the soil/heather possibly aligned with the visible stones. This would need a more experienced eye than mine to interpret and look forward to reading other's views.

The platform on which the cairn was built has also been cleared to several feet outside what is assumed to be the original cairn base and this whole area is clearly visible from the summit of the small but neat Nercwys Mtn close by. The area is strewn with cairn material and I have read somewhere that the damage was originally done by the shepherd living in the Shepherds Cottage (also currently the subject of a recent archaelogical dig) on the mountain in the 1800s searching for a chest of gold.

Beyond the small valley beneath Nercwys Mtn are the distant mountains of Eglwyseg and the Berwyns which may be part of the reason for the choice of site.

How to get there: the site is on the sloping south side of the mountain within a few hundred metres of gate/stile onto the mountain. It is best approached from the north carpark (space for approx 10 vehicles) and then taking the waymarked circular route clockwise around the mountain. You will see the cairn about half way around as you leave the forest set up high above you on the right. At this point you also have the summit of the small mount in front of you.

Rhiwiau (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Images

<b>Rhiwiau</b>Posted by JohnAko

Rhiwiau (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

Visited 29.10.10 and Postman was right, its huge and on first sight (without any previous knowledge) you may not think it actually is a barrow. Its sits on land directly opposite a farmhouse of the same name.

It shows signs of abuse and is very pitted and eroded, but well worth a visit. I hopped over the gate and into the 'paddock' in which the barrow is sited. The 'paddock' is clearly a rectangular walled enclosure but probably only several hundred years old. It appears to be a walled field whose drystone walls have tumbled and are now covered in earth, moss, etc. The barrow is neatly framed in the centre of this field enclosure.

The views in all directions are that of distant hills and mountains and Rhiwiau appears to sit in the bottom of a bowl whose sides are those distant hills - no coincidence I guess?!

Maen Llwyd (Cloceinog) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 29.10.10
There is no longer any scrambling through trees or undergrowth as the approach to this site, and Bryn Beddau close by, have been made easy by a neat stone path through the trees without any loss of ambience (for me this was my first visit, alone and in a very quiet wood, except for the wind in the trees... with an occasional look over my shoulder!).

With clearance of the scrub and trees around Maen Llwyd there are now three other smaller stones visible. How these are associated, or not, with the main stone is not recorded but they add to the general vista. Maen Llwyd is vast but as far as I know its total mass is not known so I cannot guess how far into the earth it extends. It's right-angled 'corner' rises from the ground and resembles a huge cheese wedge.

Could it possibly be a waymarker stone, perhaps one of a series, showing the route to Bryn Beddau or the site that is now Llyn Brenig beyond?

Other stones/cairns may have also been lost to forestry I suspect and may only be returned to us after felling, albeit damaged. As it appears to be the felling time for many FC plantations in this area now who knows? (a good example being the damaged cairn being more visible for the past few years on Nercwys Mtn OS:117-221581)

Bryn Beddau (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited both Bryn Beddau & Maen Llwyd 29.10.10.
My first visit to these sites which are less then 20 miles from home and I must admit that I was really surprised to find them more than just another set of stones.

The Forestry Commission have made a neat stone path to each site off their existing forestry road and whilst not waymarked (except for the info board at the Glan y Gors carpark) you cannot miss them. All trees, grasses, etc are cleared around the sites and makes for an atmospheric visit (well I was on my own which also helped). For the birders the forest was also full of crossbills.

Bryn Beddau is descibed elswhere and may not be a site high up on many 'stones to see' lists, but I recommend you go if you are anywhere near. It only takes an hour to see both sites once parked up.

Coflein lists two 'cairns', south and north with the south cairn being "lost to forestry". I guess the one visible today is the north cairn. Judging by it's position if you strip away the FC's trees this site has great views of the distant Hiraethogs and as the crow flies not that far from the cairn sites at Llyn Brenig. A possible link? I'll be returning for sure.

Caer-Dyni (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited Caer Dyni today, 22 August 2010, and the area around the stones has been cleared of the gorse, etc. It may not be on anyone's top-top, but the location is stunning so adds to the experience. It can now be clearly seen from the road (stop at the layby on hill as you rise out of Criccieth and walk back 150yds to footpath). With the clearance you can see a little more of the immediate surrounding ground area (original cairn perimeter?).

(NB: While there I was told that Tan Y Muriau had also been cleared, but had no time to go back. Visited Tan Y Muriau last month and got ripped to shreds by bracken and gorse almost chest high on the approach path, only to find the site over run by ferns and weeds).

Eliseg's Pillar mound (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

I visited the dig at Eliseg's Pillar late on Saturday 31 July but did not get to speak to anyone at length about their findings. Anyway I guess it may have been too early to say with any certainty whether any finds have thrown new light on the site or provided any new dating evidence. However even to my very amateur eyes a stone cairn was clearly visible with what looked like kerbstones placed around the foot of the mound. I look forward to the official report.

NB: as others have already said parking is difficult but I used the pub carpark just 200yds away. This site is local to me and only a 20mile drive, but is well worth a visit if you take it in with a few of the other sites in the area.

Eliseg's Pillar mound (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Eliseg's Pillar mound</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Eliseg's Pillar mound</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Eliseg's Pillar mound</b>Posted by JohnAko<b>Eliseg's Pillar mound</b>Posted by JohnAko

Eglwyseg (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Eglwyseg</b>Posted by JohnAko
Originally from the Wirral but lived in North Wales since the age of 12. Retired early at 57 (recommended if you can get it!), so much more time available to visit and revisit the sites across North Wales and beyond.

Life long Neil Young / CSNY / Todd Rundgren fanatic along with an extremely varied musical taste along the way. This includes JC with the Teardrops, Echo & TB, Pale Fountains, Wild Swans, amongst others from the Eric's days.

JohnAko (2015)

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