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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Garn Ffoi -- prehistoric stock management features?

Just for fun -- arising out of the suggestion that the Cursus at Stonehenge might have been a stock management structure rather than a Roman chariot racecourse........

This is a satellite image of Garn Ffoi near Newport, Pembs, showing the assumed Iron Age defended settlement site, with more modern enclosures to the SE and then towards the bottom of the image the wonderful stone walls (now ruinous) that can only have been used in association with the gathering and sorting of sheep and other stock normally left to run free on the common.  Could they be prehistoric?  Note the 90 degree bend in the southernmost corral. The other one has a funnel shape.  Not far away from here there is also a wonderful cattle pound, assumed to be medieval:


Geo Cur said...

Dave M. might have something to say about the date for these walls i.e. also medieval .

Dave Maynard said...

I might indeed have something to say.

I looked at this area a long time ago, very interesting with a mix of prehistoric and later features. The Dyfed Archaeological Trust have put up a report on their website about some work carried out recently here, which will be the most recent view.

I guess all the straight lines are 19th century field boundaries and the parallel ones are probably an attempt to plant shelter belts.

What I find odd is the need to have these funnel boundaries. Today's shepherds and their dogs, usually get the sheep into the right pen. Perhaps earlier dogs and sheep were less obedient.

Where I am at the moment, flocks of sheep are herded all day long by a boy and a stick and sometimes a dog, which usually is not interested. The controls are extremely docile sheep, who know the daily routine and stones thrown by the boy to keep the sheep out of the field of barley or alfalfa next door. There is a complete absence of field boundaries or hedges.

Cows, horses and donkeys are individually tied by a rope and just get moved every so often to some water.

We also pass everyday, a man herding geese, about 50 or 60 or them. The last few days he's taken a chair with him.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Sounds thoroughly idyllic, Dave! Sitting in the sun somewhere, glass of red wine in hand, watching the world go by.......