Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It's a long story...

The Lleyn is home to quite a few ancient monuments, one of the most striking of which is the remains of a Neolithic tomb (from the new stone age - about 5000 years ago) at Cefnamlwch near Tudweiliog, sometimes called Coetan Arthur.

The large capstone is supported by 3 upright pillars. The stone in the foreground may be a fourth, fallen pillar.
Although it may look like a mini stone henge, these three stones were actually buried underground, supporting a mound of earth. There would have been a hollow underneath the capstone, in which a local chieftain would likely have been buried. At some point in the intervening millennia, the earth was removed, leaving just the stones behind.

The site is surrounded by a strong fence, as cattle are kept in the field during the summer. The summit of Carn Fadryn, at 371m above sea level, can be seen in the background.
There is a (most likely tall) tale, that during the 18th century the cromlech was moved to the edge of the field by the landowner, Squire Griffiths. However, all the cattle in the field allegedly laid down around the stones, and refused to move until the cromlech was returned to its rightful place. It's nice to know that cows can take such principled stands against archaeological vandalism. You can find a map of the location here. If you zoom out on this map then you will see that there is a series of tarmac lanes in this area which can easily be made into a very rewarding circular walk when all the fields around are waterlogged.

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