Monday 7 February 2011: Cerrig y gof
The sun emerged today and we (the dog and I) took a bus a few miles up the road to this remarkable Neolithic site. It's a chambered tomb which consists of five cists arranged in a star pattern. The cists are essentially square stone boxes and each would have been covered by a stone lid. Four of them still possess their capstones, but dislodged, as if a giant hand has roughly tumbled the boulders and left them like that. Originally the whole site would have been covered over with earth to form a burial mound.
This a very unusual arrangement, unique in Wales. The obvious conclusion to draw is that the separate chambers accommodated the remains an important family or members of a clan. We'll never know. Little was found when early antiquaries investigated them.
Also striking is the site that was selected for the grave. It's on elevated ground and clearly aligned with (visible here) the promontory of Pen Dinas that rears up from the sea to the northwest and with the fortified outcrops of Carn Ffoi and Carn Ingli to the southeast. This was no random choice - our ancestors must have depended on such sightlines to provide location and direction.
Cerrig y gof means blacksmith's stone and may refer to some forgotten legend. But there is another name, Cerrig Atgof - remembrance stone. The tomb is yards from a main road but barely visible through the field gate and rarely gets any visitors. The stones are all but forgotten.