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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Did Carn Goedog provide the stone for Cana Chapel in 1856-7?

Following on from my piece of yesterday about Carn Goedog,  I was reminded of Dyfed Elis-Griffydd's interesting article about the manner in which our Victorian ancestors quarried the tors on Preseli for gateposts, lintels, doorsteps, headstones for graves, and facing stones for prestigious buildings such as chapels and churches.  Dyfed is fairly sure that Carn Meini was used as the source for facing stone for Bethel Chapel in Mynachlog-ddu in 1875-77, and that much stone was taken from there for other buildings as well:

But what about Cana Independent Chapel in Felindre Farchog, dating from a little earlier, namely 1856-7?  It would not have made much sense for stones to have been hauled from Carn Meini to a place on the northern side of the mountain -- and it's much more likely that the source would have been either Carn Goedog, Carn Breseb or one of the other spotted dolerite outcrops between Carn Goedog and Carn Alw.   Maybe several sources.......   Access to all these sites would have been very easy, especially if horse-drawn sledges were used. 

Carn Goedog and the trackways used by the drovers and their thousands of animals especially in the early 1800's -- en route from Maenclochog to Egwyswrw.  These tracks run through the col between the tor and the mountainside above.  Might this route also have been used by the good people of Cana Chapel, Felindre Farchog, when they were collecting stone for their 
building project in 1856-7?

After all, the route running past the southern tip of Carn Goedog was a familiar one, which was used by hundreds of local farmers and drovers, and many thousands of animals, en route over the Preseli ridge and running towards Carn Alw and thence to Eglwyswrw. 

Thinking of the drovers, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the grassy "col" between Carn Goedog and the mountain slope was used occasionally as a camp site  by the drovers in the rip-roaring days before the railways killed off the droving trade at a stroke. The col is one of the few places on the open mountain where there is some shelter.

Worth some research --  perhaps we can convince the geologists to take a spotted dolerite sample from the chapel and see where it fits in the great scheme of things?  I'm sure the Good Lord would not mind a discreet drill-hole somewhere on the front facade, all in the cause of science........


Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah those who desecrate the House of the Gods are cursed. Think of the fate of Howard Carter/Lord C.
But were a local to chip a couple of bits off, take the curse, and ship them to the old city I expect something might be done, 500g a sample.

BRIAN JOHN said...

I shall pass that on to the locals, Myris. There is an even more interesting chapel at Pontyglazier, which I shall take a look at.

Myris of Alexandria said...

The offer of possible help can only apply if the building is not damaged or is listed etc. The thought of angry righteous Welsh low church goers burning down the library is too awful.
But that you would know.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Never fear -- any local seeking bits of spotted dolerite would certainly ask the deacons first.....