This will be what the title says, will change as my thoughts dictate…
The first thing on my mind, which is something quite new, from Sunday, rather than the studies that I made twenty plus years ago, is this
That lovely undulating wave which snakes up to the peak of Carningli.
I am prepared to say, with a strong degree of confidence, that it has a name, that is, that the people who made it, who sculpted it, had a word for it, which they used, when they made it and when they saw it.
So, although all the other stones that I have been looking at and studying have profiles which I believe carry or convey information, some of which it is possible to decode, much of which is tentative, this example is of a different quality and order, it gives us something far more interesting to work with.
Earlier, I have said several times that it is important just to gather the data, and not to let preconceived hypotheses limit or distort the picture of what we are seeing. Well, yes. 🙂
There could very well be something totally different going on with this network of stones around the Preselis, perhaps measuring the Earth’s circumference, or something else as yet undreamed of.
But with this particular instance we have a chink of light which demands thorough investigation, and which might illuminate the other stuff. We shall see.
So what I will do first of all, is repeat my line of reasoning, the steps, which I have mentioned in previous posts, so that anyone reading here for the first time can see how the conclusions are drawn. Those who have already grasped what I outlined should apply all of their wits to try and find any weakness, any crack into which you can insert a lever to wreck my beautiful logic. That’s the name of the game. It has to be 100% watertight.
Because this is science, not woo woo. Or wee wee. 🙂
So we begin with this one.
So the provisional hypothesis is – and it may even be possible to make it a formal statement eventually – that what the archaeology text books call these things, standing stones, ‘ritual monuments or boundary markers’, is not the case here.
For a contemporary person who understood how, there was, is, a way to view the stone, so as to read it, approximately in the same way as we today read our own road and street signs.
What you do, is to view the profile of the stone against the background landscape.
Sometimes this is impossible to do for many stones, because of intrusive features, trees, buildings, etc, and sometimes, it does not appear to work, which may be because not all stones were erected for this reason.
But if you walk around the stone, you usually seem to be given a clue, that there will be some faces that give very clear features, and there will be some very obvious landmarks.
So, beginning with that, which was more or less a hunch, this stone fits neatly onto the top of Carningli. And when you have made that alignment, you happen to be facing exactly North. So it has provided you with the points of the compass.
This stone stands a few yards away from the modern lane, which is actually an ancient route, marked on the earliest maps, and it will certainly have been a prehistoric track, simply because it is the easiest, shortest way to go.
Well, none of this is tremendously convincing, it could all just be chance, the stone could be left over from an old gateway, and still match the hilltop and so on, but I was puzzling whether the straight edges on the left meant ‘go down, then go up’, and I studied the geometry, to see if Pythogaras’ Theorem would fit, and I tried to find why it had that step on the right shoulder, and I spent an awful lot of time thinking about this one.
Which meant I was amazed when I found another one, which was sort of similar, just up the hill.
Observe that this one also has the shoulder step. If you are young and fit, it is only twenty minutes or less, to walk the ancient track up the hill to reach it. There’s another stone pair very near, within sight, and also several very large fallen ones, said to be the remains of a circle. If you read the official literature, there’s the remains of what would have been, for the time, a veritable town, now hidden, invisible beneath the peat.
So I began to believe I might be onto something, with two shoulder steps, because if Bronze Age or Neolithic people had made that shape intentionally, as a visual message, then it should be possible to figure out why, and what it meant, I mean, probably not as tough as the Enigma Code or Linear B.
But there was still the possibility that these were just random rocks, that were on the ground nearby, and when those folk wanted to mark the route, they just stuck one upright, say, to make it easier in poor light, or when there was deep snow, or for some other odd reason.
And although this second one does sort of fit some landscape features and so forth, there’s nothing as neat and persuasive as the way the first one fits the top of Carningli.
So, I launched on a more extensive study. And there are loads of them. I mean, it came as a shock, how many. And there used to be a great many more. The official records are filled with sad tales of what used to be. Dismal and depressing.
However, the next big breakthrough came with this one, the Gors Fawr outlier.
If you follow the hypothesis, align it against the background landscape, then follow the line that the left side indicates, as per the yellow arrow, at the angle point, the yellow dot, you find another stone with exactly the same profile as this one.
Now I think this defies chance. People did not just grab a nearby random boulder and erect it, and thus happen to get two with this very striking, very regular, very artificial looking shape.
And then a third, half a mile or so, and exactly north of the first, with the same profile and angle. What is the significance of 145 degrees ? I have no idea… Any suggestions ?
That was when I became convinced that there was some sort of technical thinking involved with the shaping and placing of these stones.
And as I said, I have masses of material I accumulated that I have not put up here yet. But before going on any further, you now have a reiteration of the early steps, the deductions, so you can follow how I got to where I was.
I had numerous speculative ideas, maybe this was the route to Bedd Arthur, which might have been, who knows, something like a pilgrimage to some sacred spot, or maybe the best way to drag the bluestones, or to do with archaeo-astronomy, or whatever. Dozens of possibilities.
The ‘rules’, so far deduced, you walk around the stone, see the most obvious features, which tell you which faces are the ones to view, and you sight those against the background landscape, wherever there happens to be some significant prominent landmark. Then you read the profile, for whatever information it conveys.
In many cases, although it is tantalising, in the sense that there are prominences on the stone, which look like pointers, and notches, which look meaningful, and so forth, it all remains obscure to me. I think, potentially, this can be cracked, it just requires the work, finding the correlating factors. I’ll say more about what I have already in due course, but first back to the beginning, and the undulating line.
Here is the stone again, instead of aligned on Carningli, aligned on where the other two stones, with the shoulders, are.
I do not now how you would be certain as to which is the correct view. The straight vertical right side ? The problem is, the top of the stone is damaged, so it cannot make a perfect match.
Anyhow, whichever destination it was sending you to, you would still have to cross over the river, the estuary, which is what the undulating line is telling you.
My speculation goes like this, for the date.
There is a stone Castell Twby, Carmarthenshire, said to be in a well established Bronze Age setting, fields, enclosures, etc, which looks of a similar sort of quality and vintage to most of these, so let’s hope that it is, and it fell over, and was excavated and re-erected, and gave the archaeologists a solid date of 1090 BC (+/- 100yrs).
For the sake of the argument, let’s use that, circa 1000 BC, as easy to remember, late Bronze Age, and then the Iron Age begins, around 800 BC.
So the whole of Britain is doing Bronze Age, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, and they are divided into tribal territories, farming away, with loads of wheat, sheep, cattle, pigs, and Stonehenge and it’s relatively peaceful and thriving.
Most of the copper comes from the Great Orme in North Wales, so they are super rich, tin comes from Cornwall. There’s evidence of trade all across Europe and to the Mediterranean.
What language was spoken ? I don’t know what the authoritative view from the academic experts is, these days. I have not looked hard yet to see what their opinion is, I’ll get around to that. My memory says that nobody had any idea, there was Q Celtic and P Celtic and the possibility that those people had invaded and displaced earlier languages… but I am fuzzy about what happened, and as I mentioned, my basic history was laid down in the days when it was a matter of passing on what Julius Caesar had said, something about the Belgae having come over here … I think that’s kinds been superceded. I hope 🙂
I’m working on the premise that they spoke Early Welsh, of some sort, without the Latin additions that the Romans brought.
Names of major landscape components, mountains and rivers, as I understand it, tend to stick longterm, even when people come and go, so we can look at them, and get an idea who was living here in early times and what language they were using, from the ancient names of the rivers.
There’s a problem for English speakers, because both the spelling and the phonetics are different for Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and for Welsh, so you have to do some work to sort of reverse engineer the words and names to unscramble what is buried and hidden, and if you are new to it, it’ll be weird and bewildering, but think of it as Lord of the Rings type of stuff and then it’ll be fun, you need one or two insights to catch the buzz… 🙂
See, from the science, we know about Doggerland, when the last Ice Age was ending, the glaciers were melting, there was a mammoth in Shropshire, 11000 BC, and sea levels seem to have risen, probably, quite dramatically in jumps, which would account for some of the deluge myths, because if the water level suddenly goes up 100 ft. above what people had been used to for a couple of generations, they are going to notice, and tell the tale to their great grand children..
I have read that Brittany never was covered by glaciers, it was habitable, same for the SW tip of Ireland, where trees survived, the Strawberry tree. Seems you could have walked along that Atlantic littoral all the way from Africa, and the Sahara was lush and fertile, c. 6000 BC
We can compare that, the science from the geologists and geographers and climatologists and others, with what the Irish myths say happened. Here’s an edited synopsis.
We don’t have such rich and detailed equivalent for Wales, but we have the Mabinogion, in which it is stated that, at one time, it was possible to walk to Ireland because it was only separated by two rivers, which were named the Archan and the Li.
If that were to be factual, that is, historical record, then you can check the map above, and figure out for yourselves how old the material in the Mabinogion could be.
I think there are several waterways called Lee, I don’t know about Archan, I have not checked.
So we have these ancient Celtic stories, recorded in the Celtic languages, existing in the annals, as one interesting source of material to draw upon.
What does ‘Celtic’ mean ?
This encyclopedia is an attempt to catalogue all possible elements of Celtic culture, from its origins in central Europe in the Bronze Age, through the 21st century. Obviously, this is a rather daunting task, and one which needs some explanation.
To begin with, we must address what as meant by “Celtic”. The Celts were not and are not a race, but a linguistic group with some overlapping cultural customs and beliefs. They are not a homogenous group; the neolithic aboriginies of the British Isles whose decendents still live there today, particularly in Connaught, Ireland, are no less “Celtic” than the Gauls who battled Caesar–and yet, they are not of the same “race”. “Race” is a cultural concept. The Celts never thought of themselves as a single race, but were organized as a series of tribes; loyalty was to the tribe, to the tuath, but never to a single “race”–this is the fantasy of nineteenth century nationalists and twentieth century fanaticists.
That’s not what I am interested in here, really, except in so far as the stories can provide clues, regarding these stones.
Now, to writing. The earliest forms and developments are very interesting, but need not concern us very much, the first fully operational systems appear to have been the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Sumerian cuneiform, and they flourished in the Middle East as those civilisations grew.
There’s the wiki for all that here
But then comes the first real alphabet and writing as we would now understand it, the Phoenician, which spread and became the basis for our modern European letters.
And there was a reason for that, which is easy to understand. The Egyptian and Sumerian stuff was hard to learn, and it was used by the officials ad bureaucrats, it was for tax collecting, accounts, temple records, all that sort of thing, and you needed roughly the equivalent of a degree in computer engineering to be able to understand it and be sdmitted into the fraternities who had the power to use it.
Phoenician was quite different. Those guys were traders, dealers, sailors, pragmatists, and they wanted a system that they could use on the street, so to speak, and so theirs was simple and easy to learn, anybody could pick it up very quickly, like learning to use a mobile phone, you didn’t need to have a degree.
If you look at the time line, the dates, people could have been, would have been, coming to Britain, to Wales, to trade, who knew the Phoenician letter system, around 1000 BC.
So why didn’t the people take up writing and leave us some form of written records ?
I don’t know. Perhaps the material was bark or something that has vanished, or perhaps they never bothered and it was a secret amongst traders or some other reason. There seems to be nothing for a thousand years, until the Romans arrive, but there is then Ogham which may have been ancient, although not like the Phoenician.
But we have this stone. Which, in my estimation, tells us a lot.
This is the Phoenician for ‘water’.
The ancient Egyptian version is a more extended row of ‘double U’s’ and without the Y tail on the end.
Why do we call it ‘double U’ when we write it as ‘double V’ ?
The Phoenician script was quite variable, but derived mostly from earlier versions, and the method of writing was with a reed pressed into wet clay, which was not good for curved lines, so although water is typically represented by rounded serpentine waves, they had to make do with the cuneiform version, which is a zig zag.
Here is water on this mountain, to give an idea of the visual reality that is being symbolically, graphically, emulated. That’s what the wind does to the surface.
Now we hit a snag in my theorising, That’s because the Phoenician word for water may be written like a W or like a WY, but it was not pronounced anything like that, it was the letter M, pronounced as Mem, or Mim, or thereabouts, that’s what they called water.
So how can that be accounted for, that we can go from M sound to W sound ?
Well, it appears to be fairly straightforward. This newfangled writing technology, where each letter was easy and simple to learn, was very useful and popular and spread all around the Mediterranean and beyond rather quickly. And the people who took it up, they didn’t care what the Phoenicians had been doing with it, did they, they didn’t want to be Phoenician, they wanted to be able to write in their own languages.
So this is like Indians, Brazilians, Nigerians, Taiwanese, etc, all getting computers and mobile phones, they could not care less what Gates and Ballmer in Seattle say ‘the rules’ are, they adapt everything to suit what they like themselves, locally.
So when the ‘water symbol’ arrives here, it changes from being for an M to being for a W.
I have as yet to substantiate that. However, it has happened, historically, because in Japan, they have their own native word for water, mizu, and also the Sino-Japanese word, sui, and they both are written using the same symbol.
And that’s because the Japanese did not have their own writing, so it is a parallel case, they didn’t import Phoenician of course, they imported the Chinese system of writing.
So you can see how this works. The same letter takes on a new different phonetic.
And, if you think about it. Our double U, or double V, and ‘water’, in German, is ‘doppel vay’ and ‘wasser’, and the German w is pronounced like our v, the same way the Russians say their version of water, ‘vadah’.
The most alert and intelligent amongst you will have noticed a sudden increase in your pulse rates, when I alluded to the Chinese for water… which was ? Yes, ‘sui’.
The Welsh, wy, the Gaelic, ui, the Chinese, sui… fleepeeneck… what’s going on ?
Perhaps the Neanderthal mums called it ‘wee wee’, and it predates all other spoken words, and that’s how it’s the same word at both ends of the Eurasian Continent ? I really ought to compare the words for water in all the languages, but I’m not feeling that rigorous… I need a slave for that stuff…
I suppose French eau could be the same, at a stretch, but Latin aqua seems very different.
Anyway, this is what I know. In ancient Welsh, they wrote water almost exactly as the Phoenician did, as WY.
And it is pronounced almost as English would say Ooee, so it is very near to wee wee 🙂
And, from that root or base, a great many Welsh words are derived, as I noted previously, you can add something at the front or at the end, or both, and adjust the meaning quite readily. This happens in English too, so you can have a word like ‘liquid’ which people know, and then you can add ‘semi-liquid’ or ‘liquify’ and they will grasp that the initial meaning has been logically extended in a particular sense.
So the original sign or symbol for water was the wavy or zig zag line, and as centuries have passed, the meaning of ‘gwyr’ has lost it’s ‘watery’ aspect and come to mean crooked, bendy, winding, and that’s the modern definition, having evolved from the ancient concept.
That’s why the reference books state that the River Wye may have it’s origin in it’s Welsh name, Gwy, which meant ‘winding’, but loads of Welsh rivers have names which end in ‘wy’, because that meant water, or river, or any flowing channel, basically covered the whole concept…
What I am saying is that the visual symbol, this
is the same, is saying the same thing, as the profile of this stone
and that the visually literate traveller, be they Phoenician, Irish, or whatever, who was familiar with this language of stones, would almost instantly be able to read exactly what it says.
I mean, it is no different, in principle, to our modern day road sign where there is a silhouette of the image of a plane painted on sheet of metal, and that tells you the way to Heathrow. You do not need to know or speak English, the symbol for plane is universal, as is this sign for water. This stone is saying that there is a river, an estuary, down there.
If you didn’t know that, you might walk all that way, miles, find it was impossible to cross, it is deep and wide, and have to come back, or trek miles further upstream. But as I speculated before, it’s possible there was a means of crossing and that’s why the stone points to the particular way, they did have ferries, we know this for sure.
Here’s another thought. They also had dogs and horses. More probably ponies. From wiki :
The domestication of horses, and their use to pull vehicles, had begun in Britain by 2500 BC; by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain,British tribes could assemble armies which included thousands of chariots.
So the folk arriving at the stones could have been mounted, or leading pack ponies.
Here’s a photo from the last time I was on top of the Preselis, years ago, with the ponies that live up there amongst the strange rocky outcrops, far above the human world in the blue lowland…
If that stone encodes the word for water, it’s reasonable to surmise that others might do something similar.
This is a common profile, a symmetrical bullet or torpedo shape.
The tip should finish off by matching some feature on the skyline, if my hypothesis and rules are sound. In this direction there seems to be only sky.
Looking the other way, there’s the possibility of a distant feature, a far off hill, but the visibility that day was too poor to see anything. So that does not work out as hoped.
Then we step around and get the side view, which is this
And then this
So this is something like the scroll on the head of a violin, with a very clear notch, or bird’s mouth.
But what does it say ? How does it relate to the background ? I have no idea.
It seems somehow complex and meaningful. Here is one more.
This last view of this one, Morfa, bears a resemblance to this one, from the Dolau Maen pair. Look.
How would you describe that ? Something like a letter P, with a little hat, and a step shoulder ?
In my estimation, that is not random chance, two boulders that just happened to have that shape and get erected by humans. I think someone went to a lot of work to sculpt these big lumps of rock to achieve a profile that they wanted for some reason or other.
However, I do not know how this should be read, and if it is a symbol or sign, what that is, so for the moment it remains enigmatic. We need some correlation, or some clue, or some other lead.
So let’s take a look at this Dolaumaen (‘Meadow of the Stones’) pair.
Here is a map I made, showing relationship to others. It’s taken off the Ordnance Survey so should be reasonably accurate. This pair at extreme right.
There’s lots of interesting stuff to note, starting from the Dolaumaen pair. They are beneath a striking horizon of Preseli cairns, and both stones have tops which can be matched against several, no clue as to which should be meaningful, if any, I’ll just give one example. The archaeologists used to insist these were the source of the bluestones, before the new team began insisting it is the ‘quarry’ in the lowland.
The partner of the one depicted above is a thin skinny thing.
Looking away from the Preselis, it has the classic missile profile, and the top could possibly fit that cairn on the horizon, if you got your head in the right place. Someone said that hill, is called ‘The hill for looking’, the Welsh says Foel Dyrch or Foel Drych, not clear about that.
Looking toward the Preselis, as I said, a row of cairns.
Here is a mapping of the cairns I’ve stolen from a research paper done on the bluestones and axe heads, its from 2006 so dated a bit by now, but the map should be fine, I don’t thin the cairns have moved much. Of course, you never know anymore, fucking quantum reality, perhaps they are only there when someone is looking at them. Perhaps that’s why there have to be ponies up there, otherwise everything vanishes…
Anyway, back to this map
On a day with good visibility, good eyes, you can see Dolaumaen from Dan y Garn, (and vice versa except there’s a stone wall in the way).
Possibly, under some circumstances, very clear light, and the stones with strong shadow, it might just have been possible to see to the Gate pair, but they are wrecked, one is inside the hedge bank. From Maen y Parc stone you can see to Dolaumaen site, but not make out the stones themselves. There’s a suggestion there were once more stones there, maybe a row.
Back to the Dolaumaen pair, and you can see here, the fat one of the two has slumped over, and I think it is safe to assume that it was originally vertical when it was set up.
So with the wonders of digital technology, I have taken the liberty of restoring the situation.
So now, that left vertical face is pretty much the red horizontal line on the map above, and also exact West, it’s actually going more to Maen y Parc than to Gate, it’s hard to be exact with the chunk missing out of the view, but thereabouts. And the shoulder step takes you to Dan y Garn, and the Cwm Garw pair, aka The Sons of Arthur.
Here is the view from the Dan y Garn pair, looking toward the Dolaumaen pair, exact centre, which I have marked underlined in white. I was able to see them with the naked eye, and certainly, when the air is clear and the sunlight is suited, it’s easy.
However, looking this way, these two are hidden by the wall and gorse. Nothing can be said about the left one because the top half has been smashed off.
Here they are, as viewed against the dolerite cairns above the Dolaumaen pair.
Looking to the north gives this, (which is the 145 deg angle)
Assuming that it originally had the same top as the Gors Fawr one which has the exact same angle, (this one below), and you followed the same rule, you’d walk straight up that hill, exact north, and arrive at Bedd Arthur. The top has obviously been damaged. It might have been flat to fit this horizon line.
The other partner stone has lost it’s whole upper part, probably quite recently, when I was there years ago, it was fairly fresh bluestone colour, and not weathered. So info is lacking and we are deprived.
What else have we got ?
Here is the other of that pair of Gors Fawr Circle outliers, looking almost exactly the same way.
It has two features at least which seem to occur a lot, one is the arrow, >, on the right, which is very common, and the other is a sort of crest on the top, what I mean is like a pointer or ear at each end, then a dip and a hump in the centre. Seem to see that quite often.
Here are the famous Sons, the Glynsaethmaen stone is about central, near the end of the barn, too small to see in the pic, but would have been easily visible by naked eye.
Here’s some more pics, maybe YOU can figure out what’s going on here ? 🙂
Here’s the map again
This is the Maen y Parc stone, looking east, the Sons, the Cwm Garw pair, will be left of screen, Dolaumaen pair about a third a way in from the left.
This is what it looks like towards the Cwm Garw pair, a sort of classic gravestone slab, unlike most of the others.
Side view gives this
Pause for a moment.
There’s scores more stones all around the Preselis. There’s some I’ve never had the opportunity to visit. Some I did not take the photos from the views needed, so they’d need revisiting. There’s scores that are not on the official SMR register, likewise the Megalithic Portal database.
This is an absolute disgrace. Not just the lack of a proper list, but the neglect in general. I mean, there’s a fucking University just down the road, which boasts about being the oldest, with an archaeology department, and they have not even bothered to do a proper inventory of the local stuff….. why is that ? Because they are all a bunch of tossers who are intent on advancing their careers and making names for themselves and so they seek fame and fortune and want to fly off somewhere exotic for a month digging (read ‘grave robbing’) in Mexico or Sudan or somewhere exotic, and what sells in Britain is the bloody Romans, because they were fascist nazi imperialists and that’s what always appealed to the English heroic conquering entrepreneurial spirit that the authorities liked to encourage… none of the backward primitive Stone Age stuff, thanks.
It’s a disgrace and a shame upon the Welsh people who don’t value their legacy and heritage, and let the farmers trash everything. Not all the farmers, just most of them.
This stuff that’s left here to study, its mostly on very poor land, moor, marsh, where people had no money or interest in doing anything to it, so it has survived, and the further you go from the mountains, as the land gets lower and more fertile and has been more intensively cultivated, there are fewer stones, but I suspect the network would have been just as dense, in the past, but it’s gone…
Anyway, I have hundreds of photos as prints, which I took before there were digital cameras, and I have to scan those before I can put them online. I still have loads of stuff I have not shown you. I’m just trying to get the idea across, that there is something unique here, Welsh, part of Celtic prehistory, that can tell us about the deep past, an insight into something that was going on. I don’t know what it was, it’s still very mysterious, very enigmatic, very puzzling.
The regular archaeologists are useless. Telling me that these stones are ‘ritual monuments’ is bullshite. Does not mean anything, just a disguise for ignorance.
I mentioned at the start, you can see, in the photo of the ‘water stone’ Carningli is really the peak, highest prominence, of a long hill that extends for a few miles from Newport towards Fishguard, and at the other end there is another obvious rocky outcrop called Garn Fawr, the Great Cairn.
Here’s Google Earth view of the area.
Just like this end, there’s lots of stones at that end, probably around twenty-ish.
Where to start ? Parc y Meirw means Field of the Dead, and by the accounts it used to be awesome, but it’s been wrecked and the stones, what’s left, are incorporated into the road bank. They align with Garn Fawr, sort of, but I think it is meaningless, everything does, they’ve been moved, and they were likely part of a monumental row or something not connected with the ‘signpost’ type of stones. That’s guessing on my part, but if you walk along the lane, you’ll see a huge one on its side embedded into the bank. They just have a different feel, somehow. Perhaps I’m wrong.
Then comes one I have posted before, which has many features that are common to others.
Another photo of it. I tend to think that those folk has complete mastery of stonework, so that if there are humps or bumps or any other features on these stones, it’s because that’s how they wanted them. They were more than capable of removing anything if they had wished, and adding steps or bird’s mouths or pointers.
Here’s a nice pic where it gives a silhouette against what I think is south horizon, and over on the other side there’s a whole family of other stones down there, but it gets down into lowland farming country and I never explored that way very much.
Here’s an example of one from ‘way down south’, great big thing, seems to be aligned on the highest peak of the Preselis. Dunno.
Back to where we where, there are several in the fields but I don’t have photos to show you at the moment, they are not recorded on the maps or lists… here’s one
and then we come to this one, which is one of the most dramatic and striking I have ever met, because it is like a finger pointing at the sky. It made a tremendous impact upon me the first time I came upon it, I was astonished.
This is a truly amazing stone, amongst my all time favourites.
Yes, some I adore, some I hate. Some are so dull and boring, nothing at all of interest, you go to all that effort and trouble, and it’s a poxy useless miserable thing that has nothing to say for itself, and probably isn’t even a genuine old stone, just a mistake by the idiot archaeologists years ago…. and then there are some that are staggeringly powerful and have a presence that grabs you and they haunt you, and they have very subtle complicated forms…
This one has a perfect right angle…
When you walk around it, it is like a different stone, I love it when they have this complexity of form, it is like sculpture in a museum or art gallery…
I do not have the specialist expertise to be sure, but if you inspect the surface closely, it looks to me as if it has been worked all over, it is sort of pock marked. If it was stone work on a bridge or a cathedral that I knew to have been done by masons, then I’d obviously swear 1oo% certain is had been worked to this shape, but I simply cannot say that, it needs some scientific micro analysis of the surface for tool marks.
See here, what do you think ? I think it is ‘pecked’.
As for how to read it, or matching it to the landscape, and all that, well, I have tried all sorts, and have no idea… but there is another stone in the field next door, that is in clear sight, so I suppose they are related… It is right in the centre of this photo. I don’t think that one is on lists or maps either.
You see, it is possible to align the stone against the horizon, but I do not see any feature that gives a decisive reading as to which position is correct, out of all the possibilities. This will be me being dumb and unobservant, of course.
If you follow that line, the vertical, where the finger points, you’ll arrive at Bedd Arthur, for sure, eventually. But how do you know, stood here, for certain, that is the correct viewpoint ?
Incidentally, before moving on, look how closely the one before this one resembles the first in this series, the one by the agricultural building, viewed from one of its sides. Here to compare…
Which can take us back to the start, and the lovely ‘water stone’, which also has this same shape, when viewed from one of its facets. The top is sharper, although it has been damaged so the original intended outline is not perfect, and neither is the photo.
If someone gave you the challenge to find three rocks with the same shape, it would be hard to do better, no ? If it was lettering, handwriting, we’d all be able to see that it was the same letter, only differing slightly because of the individual writer’s small deviation from the idealised notional concept.
Something else that penultimate stone and the ‘water stone’ share, they can both align to the ‘twin peaks’. Does that amount to anything ? I’ll leave you now, dear readers, to wrack your fevered delerius brains over this…
This is Wales, Wales of now, the turning of the years, twenty fifteen to sixteen…
And I live here, for better or worse, apparently this mountain is listed somewhere in an airport book as one of the World’s Best Walks. 🙂
And I’m thinking about the Wales of the past, all the stuff that has happened, the recent stuff, my own tiny lifetime… a couple names… Saunders Lewis…
In Wales, Nationalism came of age through the teachings of Dr Saunders Lewis, one of the co-founders of Plaid Cymru, whose February 1962 radio talk entitled the Fate of the Language gave rise to the Welsh Language Society, which in turn made Welsh a growing rather than a dying language by 2011.
In a recent sermon in our own humble parish, Bishop emeritus Daniel Mullins gave the example of Dr Saunders Lewis as one of the greatest post-WW2 European Catholic thinkers. Saunders Lewis taught Bishop Mullins to read and speak Welsh when he was his parishioner in Penarth, a beautiful church I had reason to visit quite recently for a relative’s wedding.
In his booklet The Principles of Nationalism, Dr Saunders Lewis outlines nationalism as a Catholic would understand it. He salutes the nationalism of nations like Wales within the (Holy?) Roman Empire, and outlines how nationalism isn’t about borders, barbed wire, invasions or xenophobia. he extols what is, in essence, a Catholic vision of nationalism: to celebrate one’s nation,one’s culture, one’s heritage, one’s history etc. within the bedrock of Christendom.
I have few of the qualities of Saunders Lewis (apart from our shared Faith and nationality) and so I doubt I can do his writings justice, but this is what patriotism should be. A perfectly natural celebration of shared values, heritage and culture within a wider shared history and culture that is Christian. Within a truly Catholic Europe the various nationalities would be free to celebrate their nationhood, within a shared common value system, one far above and beyond the false, sterile, death-culture, control-freakery of the current European Union.
Patriotism is as natural as wanting to own one’s home, seeking to protect one’s family, and wanting to live in a crime-free and safe society (all perfectly Catholic values). What worries me is when the scoundrels out there who normally pooh-pooh patriotism (and Catholicism!) as something “backwards” or “medieval” scramble to wave their little plastic flags and pound the jingoistic flag.
Sometimes this is to drum up support for a highly questionable war (which we’ve seen more than enough of lately); sometimes it is to defend greed and profits by the few (e.g. defending the “rights” of the City of London), and sometimes it is even to defend the liberal anti-family relativistic (anti-) values of the UK when they are questioned (for example by the Pope).
So patriotism, when it becomes the lifeblood of the people, as a means to celebrate culture, values, language and the Common Good is perfectly natural, perfectly Catholic and should be seen as normal and healthy for the national body as breathing is for the actual body.
But beware when you see scoundrels running to grab a flag and embrace patriotism – because then you know they are up to no good.
Nationalism when it is natural, normal and respectful is thoroughly Catholic, as long as it acts within the laws of Holy Mother Church (no unjust wars, not against the Common Good, not acting against the state in society of the working classes etc. etc.).
“the poetic world which emerges from the verse of R. S. Thomas is a world of lonely Welsh farms and of the farmers who endure the harshness of their hill country. The vision is realistic and merciless.” Despite the often grim nature of his subject matter, Thomas’s poems are ultimately life-affirming. “What I’m after,” John Mole of Phoenix quotes Thomas explaining, “is to demonstrate that man is spiritual.”
And he dared them;
Dared them to grow old and bitter
As he. He kept his pen clean
By burying it in their fat
Flesh. He was ascetic and Wales
His diet. He lived off the harsh fare
Of her troubles, worn yet heady
At moments with the poets’ wine.
A recluse, then; himself
His hermitage? Unhabited
He moved among us; would have led
To rebellion. Small as he was
He towered, the trigger of his mind
Cocked, ready to let fly with his scorn.
In 1999 KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin claimed that Rees had been a Soviet agent. According to Sally Davies: “His daughter Jenny Rees said he was just passing on tittle tattle because he was part of the Oxbridge set and knew the famous five who were unmasked… She said he was a minor player and not actually a spy because she always maintained that if he were a spy they would have a KGB file on him, well there now appears that there was.”
But that’s not really Welsh-ness, is it ?
Going back…. Taliesin Williams…
Not that I have anything against it, but the whole Eisteddfodau thing, it was all invention and fabrication, romantic fantasies, really.
We have the Mabinogion, of course, that really is magnificent, and many other wonders… but look, everything got dominated by the last 500 years or more of tyrannical ruthless colonial rule from London, by English speaking people who cared nothing at all about rural Wales or the peasants who dwelt there, except in so far as the land was a place to exploit, for agricultural products, for minerals, and anything else of value.
Before the Norman French had become the English aristocracy, it had just been plain Norman bastards in castles as an occupying military power, and before them, the Anglo-Saxons, less successful at doing the same thing in Wales, after they’d taken the whole of the rest of the country off the Romano-British-Welsh.
And before that, everyone except the Scots of the far north and the Irish were conquered by the Romans for four hundred years. Think about that. Longer than the USA has existed, everything was Roman. So where were the WELSH then ?
So that’s two thousand years, just skipped over in a couple of paragraphs here, on this mountain, on my laptop. And we are still at least a thousand years away from these STONES, that I have been telling you about.
But they are Welsh history, aren’t they ? I mean, what other history could they be ?
And I think this is so much deeper, more precious, more interesting than fucking Romans, who were just a bunch of nasty imperialist fascist military invaders, I mean they had a talent for bureaucratic organisation, but so what ?
What about the guy who wore the Mold Gold Cape ? He was Wales, Welsh, he must have had a NAME, with the largest copper mine in the world, North Wales must have been one of the wealthiest places in Europe…
We do not know anything about our REAL history… before Julius Caesar arrived from Rome… there were four thousand years, from the first farmers… there’s only been two thousand years since…
These stones are from the time of the four thousand years, they are like a letter, a message, someone has left, and nobody is bothering to open it and read it !
This is a disgrace ! A shame !