Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bryn Gwyn

I'd visited Bryn Gwyn some years ago but was glad to return this weekend with the smallest boy, Phil, our friends John Godbert and his lovely wife Christine. We had been staying across the Menai Strait near a Romano-Celtic hillfort, where you could gaze across the water, at this it's narrowest point, picturing the last face off between the Druids and the Romans.

We had stopped in at Plas Newydd, the golf-course-neat lawn and steep entrance fee (ta national trust) kept us at a respectable distance, but I always feel the manicured monument is somewhat lacking. I love this old photo of Newgrange because of it's wildness, the pebble-dash restoration work is shocking in comparison:

Conservation of old sites is important but it does seem to be regularly attained at a cost to the beauty and atmosphere of the site. The concrete shells of Barclodiad y Gawres, Carnpapple, Unstan seem to rob the places of a little of their magic. 

Bryn Gwyn has little to no interference or preservation, the nearby henge of Castell Bryn Gwyn is tidy but not oppressively so. 

The stones are a short walk away, used as a gateway between two fields.

It's hard to see from this two lonely giants what the largest stone circle in Wales would have been, the stones lean in sympathy with each other. The tallest is a huge shard of rock, just inches thick at the top. Notches show where the lintel of a now vanished cottage stood supported by it. The remains of a newborn baby, a young child, a juvenile and an adult were buried close to where I stood to take this photo, four lives poured into the earth. My little boy ate blackberries from the hedge as I held him in my arms there, fruit from a special place that has germinated it's magic in us.