(Click photos to enlarge)
Returning to the Preseli mountains again, just south of the Ty Canol woods and a couple of miles south west from Pentre Ifan, on a bleak hillside arranged in a line running roughly north to south are four cairns known as Carnedd Meibion Owen.
According to Best Walks In Southern Wales by Richard Sale, the site "is named for the three sons of Owen who decided to fight for their father's land, even before he had died rather than divide it between them. [...] They made wooden clubs and fought all day on the hill, but as night fell no one had won. Eventually the father chose one son, sending the others to be the kings of England and Scotland."
From a distance it's difficult to judge the scale of what looks to be a few rocky outcrops. It's only when you get up close and take a walk around them that you realise how truly monolithic these cairns are.
But what are they? Are they geological features, are they man-made, or are they a combination of the two? They certainly resemble some of the rock formations found in Snowdonia in North Wales where glacial action has shattered and splintered the rocks.
I've read elsewhere that "Recorded archaeology comprises two possible neolithic chambered tombs", although this does little to explain why there are four cairns.
This is a stange and quite breathtaking site where you really do feel that you are encountering the unknown. It's well worth a visit and just a short distance away from Pentre Ifan on the more popular tourist trail. Unlike Pentre Ifan this site is unlikely to be swarming with tourists and hoardes of kids. It very likely will be just you and the wild ponies.
Date visited: 31 December 2008