Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Monday, 24 April 2017

Land of Legends -- what the Rhosyfelin entry should have said

As I have reported, Bronwen Price of Literature Wales has refused to alter the highly misleading and inaccurate text of the published web site entry on Craig Rhosyfelin.  A pity, since that would have involved no more than a minute's work.  This is what the entry should have said, and I offer it, without charge, to Literature Wales in a spirit of good will:

Craig Rhos-y-felin, Crosswell

    • Region : South West Wales
    • Grid Ref : SN 11650 36140
    • Google Map
    • Add to your list

This is a very beautiful site, with a rocky gorse-capped crag set in a deep river valley near a ford -- a perfect place for a picnic.  It looks peaceful enough, but it is the scene of an animated dispute between academic disciplines about its links with Stonehenge.  It all started some years ago when geologists identified some of the rock fragments in the soil at Stonehenge as having come from the Rhosyfelin area.  Archaeologists then moved in, and over several digging seasons they claimed to have discovered a Neolithic quarry used for the extraction of bluestone monoliths destined for Stonehenge. In two learned papers, earth scientists disagreed, and claimed that all of the “quarrying” features were entirely natural.  Further, they argued that the bluestone debris on Salisbury Plain had been carried there by the great Irish Sea Glacier which flowed across Pembrokeshire and up the Bristol Channel around half a million years ago.  So is there really a Neolithic quarry here, or is that simply a modern myth?  Only time will tell…….


I think that the suggested entry is accurate and balanced, and should not upset anybody!  The existing entry on the web site is this:

Some of the bluestones of Stonehenge were quarried here. First used for a local monument in about 3400 BC, they were moved to Salisbury Plain 500 years later where they stood in various settings before the giant inverted ‘U-shaped’ stones joined them in 2500 BC. This makes Stonehenge a truly Welsh site - something supported by the Boscombe Bowmen: seven individuals re-buried in a mass grave near Stonehenge around 2300 BC. All were  seemingly born and raised in south-west Wales, travelling to Wessex during their lifetime. This connection and journeys from the west are recalled in folk legend - Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100-1155) retells the ancient belief that Merlin brought Stonehenge from Ireland. The rock face retains the natural pillar formations which the stone-cutters exploited. You can enjoy a picnic where they camped 5400 years ago.



Myris of Alexandria said...

Spirit of good will?
Free association
Christmass (sic), mistletoe, wine and napalm.

However, I offer this alternative purple-toned pastoral idyll

However, even if many of the bluestones come from a couple of outcrops on the top and northern slopes of the Preseli Hills and even from a very small area within those outcrops, as has now been shown for Craig Rhos-y-felin and strongly suggesting that they were quarried, there remains a degree of lithological randomness inherent in the presence of the other types of rhyolitic tuff, tuff and sandstones bluestones. Could it be that the monoliths are a mixture of quarried stone augmented by randomly chosen rocks just to make up the numbers, so making Stonehenge amongst England's earliest jerry-built public buildings or, are there further, so far undiscovered, quarries, silently hiding amongst the Welsh bracken and flowering foxgloves, feint echoes of carefully organised stone and social structures?

The man from Alexandria he say yes. Take it from a pro.


chris johnson said...

One could debate whether the site is the "perfect place for a picnic". For a typical Pembrokeshire visitor the location is intimidating. One side of the valley is a sheer one track road with harepin corners and very few passing opportunities. The other side of the valley includes a drive through the river - a genuine old-fashioned ford.

Locals are naturally very confident of their vehicle skills and know instinctively when Jones the Sheep is due to hurtle downhill with his sheep transporter. Nevertheless, this is not a perfect picnic place for the faint hearted ....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Myris, the trouble with you pros is that you don't listen to what other pros tell you. Nah - your offering will not do at all. For a start, it's too complicated and has too many long words. Second, if Lit Wales wants something about Rhosyfelin, that is what they should have -- this is no place for general theories relating to bluestone movement.

TonyH said...

It's not so much a case of "the Truth is out there", mor a case of...."s'truth!"

TonyH said...

Mr and Mrs Joe/Jo Punter should be presented with all the evidence (as distinct from speculation/ over - imagination). They can then be best equipped to choose the "best fit" scenario for all things Bluestone, Preseli and Stonehenge.

TonyH said...

Myris, "earliest jerry - built building"? Would that be as in Jerry Leadbetter, Margot's husband from The Good Life? Stonehenge, Surbiton and Preseli.'s different.