Page images

people. The heaps are distinct in character, usually having a margin of ground about a foot in diameter, which seems to have been levelled for them. They are of two very distinct sizes, the larger being about 12 ft. to 14 ft. in diameter, the smaller about half as big. They seemed to be mixed indiscriminately. We opened two of the larger heaps, one partially, the other thoroughly. There were traces of a small opening towards the west. A trench, however, extending

. to nearly 6 ft. below the surface, failed to disclose any remains which would enable the mounds to be dated, nor were there any traces of human habitation. Indeed, as far

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

as I could gather from local opinion, nothing ever had been found in any circles opened. Possibly they were never used as habitations. (Fig. 1 shows the circle excavated.)

The following description of the remains above Plas Gwynfryn I take from my working notebook. All the remains are on the top of a steep spur of the hill, the ground on three sides forming almost a cliff

. The general appearance of the whole circle is egg-shaped, the smaller end including smaller circles with well-marked but ruined walls, in the centre of which there is a circular erection with a hole in the middle, and to the north-east, still within the outer wall, a larger circle. The wall is scarcely noticeable at the larger end of the camp, but the ground slopes away rapidly on the south, and the plateau is well marked all round. This part contains a wall running from the south and across the entrance to the smaller end, and gradually melting away into a heap of loose stones. The northern part of this is a large grassy area, quite flat, while the southern part is scattered with loose stones, and a mound suggests the stones in the centre of the larger half. The

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

general nature of the description will be understood at a glance on the plan (Fig. 2). There are traces of a lower wall on the south. The two smaller groups of stones immediately suggest the larger and smaller circles on Bwlch y ('ae and the neighbouring fields, the resemblance has only to be seen to be appreciated. On the other hand the site is totally different, for at Gwynfryn the remains are on the steep little spur of a hill and cover all the spur; those at Bwlch y Cae are scattered along the top of a ridge.

The third series of stone circles presents a different character in that they seem much more connected with one another than those on Bwlch y Cae, which they resemble in position, and to a certain extent in form (cf. Figs. 4, 5, and 6). The group which is most traceable has the form which can be best studied on the plan (Fig. 3).

A point which is especially noticeable is that the road which passes the Llanfair circles has quite a number of menhirs still standing along it, and that there are also one or two on the other road by Bwlch y Cae. We were also struck in exploring these monuments, both this year and last, that the menhirs seemed to point to the hill Rhinog Fach, and also that there are stone remains in spots whence the top of this bill is visible. There are however, as far as I know, no monuments of any kind on or in the neighbourhood of this hill, and the alleged standing stones on its base are natural, though it is possible there may be others. In any case, attention may be called to the apparently symmetrical arrangements of the menhirs, the presence of menhirs near the Llanfair stone-heaps, and of a dolmen and menhirs near the Bwlch y Cae heaps.

[graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »