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Tuesday 1 March 2016

The Blessing Stone at St Dogmaels

 I just came across a reference to this rather large stone close to the River Teifi in St Dogmaels.  Is it really made of spotted dolerite?  I must go and check it out.  It is reputed to weigh about 14 tonnes.  It looks like a large glacial erratic, and I'm not sure where the idea comes from that says it was once the capstone of a dolmen.  Sounds rather fanciful to me.......

From the local descriptions of the stone:

The Blessing or Answer Stone:
The Blessing Stone below the Teifi Netpool pub in St Dogmaels was possibly once the capstone of a dolmen [from the Breton taol-maen - ‘stone table’] that stood on the level ground above its present position, where the view is spectacular.

These ancient monuments are made of spotted dolerite (bluestone), a basalt which occurs at several outcrops in the Preseli Mountains, which provided the main sources for the famous Stonehenge bluestones. If you the stand on the stone and yell you get the most perfect echo back. Plus once a year there is a ceremony to bless the river from the stone which is well worth attending.


Tradition holds that the Carreg-y-Fendith (Blessing Stone) on the Netpool is where the Abbot blessed the fishermen before they set out on their fishing season. The stone, also called Carreg Ateb (Echo Stone), was re-discovered in the 1960s.


TonyH said...

From what you describe as the local descriptions of the stone, we are told that the stone "was possibly once the capstone of a dolmen that stood on the level ground above its present position, where the view is spectacular".

From the above description, it is not clear whether or not there is DEFINITE evidence for a dolmen formerly standing just above the stone's present position.

Perhaps there are archival records and/or old maps confirming a dolmen's existence on that level ground just above where the stone now is positioned? Anyone have any idea?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, I need to check this all out -- there may be references in the literature, but all my books are currently boxed away since my study is being redecorated...... eventually we will get back to normal...

TonyH said...

There is a very good photograph of the Blessing Stone on this site:-

Julian Cope's Modern Antiquarian site has had a contributor suggesting that other remnants of the dolmen may be seen in the area nearby.