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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Gors Fawr stone circle



Since there is a bit of interest in Pembrokeshire stone circles just now, in the light of the hypothesis that there was a proto-Stonehenge somewhere or other, here is a reminder of the fact that this one -- at Gors Fawr, near Mynachlogddu -- is the only one worthy of the name.

This is one of the best images of it -- taken by my son Martin and used on the cover of a glossy book which I published in the year 2000.  Don't try to get a copy, since it sold well and went out of print very quickly..........

But the Gors Fawr circle is really rather feeble, made of very small stones, and if this is the best we can do in Pembrokeshire I suggest that there was no great tradition of building stone circles here in the Bronze Age, let alone in the Neolithic.

By the way, this stone circle is very well documented.  Plenty in the literature about it.

5 comments:

TonyH said...

May be available second hand, though?

BRIAN JOHN said...

You never know your luck! Very often you can pick up surprisingly big volumes for 2p or something ludicrous on Amazon, plus £2.95 for postage.......

BRIAN JOHN said...

The interesting things about the Gors Fawr Circle are:
1. There appears to have been no preference for "pillars" or elongated monoliths in the construction. But the two "outliers" are more like pillars.
2. The stones are all local, picked up in the immediate neighbourhood.
3. If you look at stone shapes and surface characteristics, they are essentially just boulders affected to some degree by ice action.
4. The stones have clearly not been quarried and transported to the site from some "revered" location.
5. It dates from the Late Neolithic or Bronze Age -- nobody seems quite sure of a precise date.
6. The circle is so small and insignificant that it does not suggest construction by a highly sophisticated community with access to a large work-force or advanced construction techniques.

chris johnson said...

To be fair, we do not actually know that the stones in the circle were all picked up in the locality. There are certainly plenty of stones still lying about but we cannot be certain of the provenance for the stones used. The small size might actually be a clue that the chosen ones were brought from further afield as there are bigger stones very close by.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Very true, Chris. We cannot PROVE that the 16 stones at Gors Fawr were picked up locally -- maybe that would be possible after a search for extraction pits. But the stones are so small and nondescript that I doubt very much they were collected from some "significant" place and brought here. They are all so different in shapes and sizes that the circle looks like something built by a not very sophisticaled tribal group, intent upon economy of effort.