The Floating Stones

The Floating Stones

Journeys » The Floating Stones

The British Trip

September 1, 2022: Pembrokeshire, South Wales. The Floating Stones…  as we surveyed them, the megaliths seemed to float over the green earth, sea and sky viewed beneath. 

There are more riddles in a stone than in a philosopher’s head.
― Damon Knight

Winding through Wales

Jean and I wind our way north, headed from Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales into Conwy and Snowdonia.  We break these long drives with interesting stops along the way.  Today, that means ancient stone ruins. Most people are familiar with Stonehenge, the most famous of these sites.  We visited it in 2021, and it is astounding, as old as the pyramids.

2021 Travel Recap
Stonehenge from our 2021 visit

It may surprise you to learn that Stonehenge is not unique. Ancient Britons built hundreds or possibly thousands of similar megalithic (that’s “big stone”) sites throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Stone in the Sky

Our first stop today was at Carreg Samson.  This was a bit our of the way, down very narrow one-lane roads hugged in by tall hedges.  One lane does not mean “one way” here.  When you meet an oncoming car, one of you backs to find a wide spot, and the other passes with a few inches to spare.  This is not a place to drive a big SUV!  The site is in a sheep pasture, overlooking the sea.

The Floating Stones
Stone in the Sky…
The Floating Stones
…Carreg Samson

The Floating Stone

We traveled on to Pentre Ifan (literally “head-town of Evan”).  The stones here were larger and more refined, and dramatically situated.  The 15-ton capstone literally seems to float as it rests on three small points of rock.  This site, likely used for community burial, was erected 5,500 years ago.  That’s about 1,000 years before the pyramids

The Floating Stone
Few visitors…
The Floating Stones
…soon it was quiet but for the sheep
The Floating Stone
15 tons overhead

The Cadfan Stone

Our final stones of the day wasn’t floating, but they were magical. Inside St. Cadfan’s Church in Tywyn is a 10th century sundial, in the left of the photo below. The stone at right is known as the Cadfan Stone, an 8th century gravestone with the oldest known writing in Welsh.

One inscription is haunting. “Tengrui beloved legal wife of Adgan. Greif Remains.”

St. Cadfan's Church
St. Cadfan’s Church
St. Cadfan's Stone
The Cadfan Stone

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