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Wednesday 10 October 2018

Waun Mawn / Tafarn y Bwlch standing stone gallery

Today I was up on the mountain in positively balmy weather.  Our (no doubt short-lived) Indian Summer.  But the sunlight was perfect for pics, and here is my collection.

This is the standing stone on the perimeter of the putative stone arc or circle -- left alone by the diggers in both 2017 and 2018 

This is the most impressive stone on the moor. Standing on its own to the north of the Gernos Fach track.

This is the pair of smallish leaning stones to the south of the Gernos Fach farm track

This stone is embedded in an embankment at the side of the B4329 road a few hundred metres uphill from the cattle grid

This is the recumbent stone which  is assumed to be a part of the putative stone circle.

This is a semi-recumbent stone alongside the entrance to the 27m ring cairn (?) not far from Gernos Fach Farm

This is a small fallen stone (socket alongside) on the ridge to the west of the Cnwc yr Hydd summit

This is quite an impressive gallery, incorporating three standing stones, three leaning (all of which can be referred to as slabs), and two recumbent.  I know that MPP and his digging team think there are other recumbent or fallen stones in the arc of the putative circle, but I am not convinced by those.

But there was certainly a lot going on here.  The "stone circle" is, I think, the least convincing and least interesting feature on the moor.  There is at least one beautiful 27m embanked ring cairn, what appears to be a round house, at least a dozen old sockets or extraction pits, traces of embankments and stone walls, and something that looks as if it might be a destroyed cromlech incorporating a large quartz boulder and an infill of smaller stones between fallen supports.  The capstone has gone -- if it ever was there.  Dave Maynard thinks there is a trace of a rectangular building on the moor as well, but I have not been able to find that........

All in all, abundant signs of occupation in the Neolithic and Bronze Age.  I can see no great reason to refer to this prehistoric landscape as a "ritual landscape"  -- I reckon that people just lived here, and did whatever they had to do to survive, in those good old days.


PS.  One interesting point about these and other standing stones in Pembrokeshire.  It's true that some of them are slim and elongated pillars.  But the majority are not.  Slabs, stumpy pillars and elongated boulders seem to be preferred.  Conical and triangular shapes occur as well.   For a start, these irregular shaped stones could be picked up almost anywhere, and secondly, they were probably more stable when placed securely in the ground.

PPS.  I'm pretty sure this is a standing stone too, on the roadside near Ffos Felen ruined cottage.  It's actually just 400m to the east of the proposed stone circle site.  It's  been built into a hedge at the side of the road -- and it seems much too chunky and heavy to have been brought in by a farmer in recent times just to serve as a gatepost.  Anyway, there is no hole drilled into it.......


TonyH said...

Great pics - have you sent them, with your compliments, to the Michael Parker Pearson Consortium, c/o UCL?

If you did, that would make today a truly balmy/barmy day. You choose which.

Warmest October day today since 2011. Warmest place in UK was Anglesey.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Don't worry Tony -- they will see this. Anything with "Waun Mawn" in the title, on this site, gets searched for and found. I can tell that from the number of reads!

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Well, with benefit of hindsight 2 years 10 months later, all these things prophesied in the Blog have come to pass......we seem to be predicting events very accurately, and we aint senior and charismatic archaeologists!