I have been reading about the Bluestones of the Preseli Hills. So we decide to take the short drive towards Crymych where there is a pull in by the bridleway leading onto the access land of the Preseli Hills.
A short walk along a track brings us to a gate that opens onto the access land. In front of us is the rocky outcrop of Foeldrygarn. A walk up the steep slopes brings us to the remains of a large Iron Age Hill Fort, built some time between 650 BC and 100 AD. (Lynnie is pleased that she managed the climb without stopping to catch her breath.)
At the trig point in the middle of the fort we are 1,190 feet above sea level and once more treated to wonderful views. We are on the eastern most hill of the Preseli Hills and the view from here is different, being that bit further long. It is an exposed spot but it is clear to see how easily it could be defended. It is thought that at one time this fort was heavily populated. Today it is just the four of us up there.
From our vantage point we see our route to the next rocky outcrop we plan to climb. A thirty-minute walk and we arrive at Carnalw, the site of another Iron Age Hill Fort. It is equally as impressive as Foeldrygarn, but less elevated so there are not the views.
From here it is a steep upward walk to the stones of, Carn Gwr and then on to the large outcrop of Carn Menyn. The bluestones that form part of Stonehenge are thought to have originated from here. Looking at these stones I find it amazing to think that they could have been transported from here to Wiltshire thousands of years ago. However, scientists have spent years doing research and so I am happy to believe them.
This whole area is rather an awesome and atmospheric place to be. We see one other chap wandering in the distance (like us visiting each of the sites) but there are no other features in the landscape for miles apart from rocks and sheep.
We wander along the broad path steadily downhill to the gate and rejoin the track to the car.
On our way back we decide to pop into Rosebush for a pint at the Tafarn Sinc. On route I see a standing stone. We stop and I wander over to read the inscription below the stone. It states that this is one of two standing Bluestones brought down from the crest of Carn Menyn by an RAF Chinnock helicopter (so that’s how they did it!) on 6th April 1989. One stone was donated to Stonehenge and the other placed in this spot.
As we have travelled around the area two questions have been asked by locals. Have you been to Bessie’s pub? Have you been to the Tafarn Sinc? As blog followers will know we have been to Bessie’s so now it is time to visit the second pub of notoriety in the area.
A look at the pubs’ website describes its history. Apparently when built in the late 1870s it was named The Preseli Hotel and ‘pleasure gardens,’ with fishponds. It was built for the quarry workers and to attract tourists travelling by rail.
The pub is now known as Tafarn Sinc, due to the materials used in its construction, corrugated galvanised iron. The fishponds are now a feature of the nearby Rosebush Caravan Park. Inside the pub there are bare boards with sawdust and from the ceilings hang all sorts of bits and pieces. Even an old tandem bike hangs in the dining area.
Back home on a Saturday night in the Silver Plough I try to occasionally share a pint with two locals, Jim and Tony. Jim has made it his aim to place various items of assorted tat on the hooks hanging in the bar and we have often joked about him getting the parts of a bike secreted about the place. He would love this pub.
(26th August 2014)
[To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map OL35 –North Pembrokeshire]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2014)