(Click photos to enlarge)
I'll start with what is perhaps the best known ancient site in the area of South West Wales, the dolmen known as Pentre Ifan which is to be found in the lower Preseli Mountains a few miles south west of Newport. (Note Carningli in the background of the above photo).
This is a popular site and is the one that everyone seems to know about despite there being a wealth of other fantastic sites seemingly peppered all across the county and most of which go practically unvisited. When we visited on New Year's Eve there were already three car-loads of people there plus some hikers. There were guys laden with the most expensive looking photographic equipment trying to take photographs whilst squadrons of small children bombed about the place, running in and out between the upright stones. Thankfully once the kids had left I was able to rattle off a few photographs of my own.
One of the reasons that Pentre Ifan is so popular with the tourist crowd is that it really is quite impressive. It is the tallest such monument in the region and the capstone almost seems to defy gravity as it seemingly balances on knife-edge points on three of the uprights.
Supposedly most of this structure was once covered over with soil with only the side in the above photo open to the elements. Some other stones are no longer in their original positions and can be seen scattered around the site.
The above photo was taken circa 1970/71 and shows that I too was once a small child who liked playing amongst the stones of Pentre Ifan whilst my Nana and sister pose nicely for the camera.
Date visited: 31 December 2008
See also: Pentre Ifan on The Modern Antiquarian