Places to visit with Archaeological Interest
11th August 2009
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This last weekend once again brought in sunny weather, so we decided to take a day off from gardening and with friends take Aphrodite (the adorable american cocker) for a walk up on the Preseli Mountains (large hills really).

First we drove up to Pentre Ifan - Standing Stones  with an amazing cap stone believed to be a burial chamber - quite spectacular.  Pentre Ifan's history has two opposing views:-

  1. It was used for Chieftains only and other bones found in the tomb were that of relatives or attendants who had sacrificed themselves on the death of the chieftain. OR
  2. That the chamber of tombs were for the most part used collectively.

It is suggested that the doorway was only opened on special occasions, when bones that had been stored up else where were then buried en masse in the chamber.

The capstone's outline resembles the outline of Carningli the mountain overlooking Newport (pembs) to the South West of Pentre Ifan. The capstone weighs in around 4 tons!

The views from Pentre Ifan are breathtaking. You can see Carningli (Angel Mountain) to the South West and the Nevern Estuary at Newport to the West.  It is most definitely worth a visit for the views alone. 

We decided to leave the car and take a circular walk to and through Tycanol Woods which is an ancient woodland and now a nature reserve.

An hour and half later we took the car and dropped down into Nevern to quench our thirst at the local hostelry and then visited St Brynach's Church.  Through the lych gate you find yourself under an avenue of yews some which are over 600 years old.  One Yew is known as the bleeding Yew as it "bleeds" red sap!  It is all very atmospheric - with old gravestones dotted about under the trees.  The church itself was founded in 5th century by St Brynach - for more info click here

After walking through the avenue of yews and immediately to the east of the porch we see the Vitalianus Stone.  From this point we were able to look along the pathe to the Great Cross.  This famous Celtic Cross is apparently one of the most perfect specimens of its kind, being equalled by two other crosses in Wales - at Carew and Maen Achwynfan.

It is well worth looking inside this very beautiful church and you will see on your right as you are going down the aisle, windows, one of which has the Maglocunus Stone embedded in its sill.

In Nevern we are also fortunate to have a Motte and Bailey which is currently being investigated archaelogically. For more information click here

Afternoon tea was definitely now on the agenda and back up at the crossroads from Nevern is the most wonderful Cafe.  Everything is home made and quite delicious.  It is open 7 days a week but only during the summer holidays so make sure you visit in the next week or so.

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Diana V

Member since: 10th July 2012

I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Cardigan & Teifi Valley, which supports the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing. The site is soon coming up to its fifth...

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