Our 2012 Outreach Event began on Monday, 16 July with a visit to a 16th century (possibly much older) Welsh homestead; describe by one author (Francis Jones in his Historic Carmarthenshire Homes and Their Families) as, YNYSWEN, LLANEGWAD: Now an interesting farmstead on a slope near Pont-yr-ynys-wen, two and a quarter miles north-east of Pontargothi. Home of the land-owing family of Lloyd who traced to the Cardiganshire chieftain Gwyddno Garanhir, “Lord of Cantre’r Gwealod”. The present owners kindly provided us with tea and delicious homemade blueberry cakes before showing us round their unique and fascinating house. From there we travelled on to the charming fishing village of Solva, and the excellent Cambrian Inn for evening drinks and suppers of Welsh lamb and locally-caught fish.

Tuesday started off wet and grey so it was decided to visit the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire first (just a five minute drive from Solva). The mill is renowned for its traditional woollen products, still woven on site and now shipped all over the world. From the mill we then headed off to the Gors Fawr stone circle. Gors Fawr is close to the road, and with little walking involved getting to the circle itself is ideally suited for the less mobile.

Gors Fawr Stone Circle (circa 2,300-1,200 bce)
©
The Heritage Trust

As we left Gors Fawr the weather began to improve and the earlier greyness started to lift. Next stop was Carreg Coetan, and by the time we got there the sun had broken through to highlight this endearing little cromlech set in its own well-tended area of seclusion. Refreshments in Fishguard then on to Pentre Ifan, and finally to Carreg Samson – the latter still slightly shrouded in sea mist. Arriving back in Solva early evening there was time to freshen up before dinner at the Old Pharmacy restaurant in Solva where we were able to sample local seafood and, for the first time, the locally gathered samphire sea vegetable.

Carreg Coetan
©
The Heritage Trust
 

Two of our overseas attendees (with someone else’s curious dog) at Pentre Ifan

Carreg Samson still slightly shrouded in sea mist
©
The Heritage Trust

Wednesday was the day we had planned to visit Carn Menyn – the possible source of the Bluestones at Stonehenge. Starting first however with a visit to the 13th century ruins of the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids, and then the long drive to our destination in the Preseli Hills. All started well but, after an hour or so of walking, the ground became increasing wet and treacherous and a decision had to be made whether to carry on or turn back. Two attendees decided to carry on while the others turned back.

Two of our intrepid attendees setting off for the Carn Menyn Bluestone outcrop in the distance

Those who turned back and took a different route to our starting point were rewarded with an unexpected bonus. Following a sheep track for half a mile or so over rocky ground (with hidden streams gurgling away underground) they stumbled on what may be an unrecorded sub-megalithic tomb (not dissimilar, though much smaller, than Coetan Arthur which we use as our banner image above). The feature is yet to be confirmed as such, although it appears to have some of the sub-megalithic tomb characteristics described by George Children and George Nash in their book, Neolithic Sites of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire & Pembokeshire.

A seemingly unrecorded sub-megalithic tomb (provisionally named Carn Koishi after the person who noticed it) with Carn Menyn visible in the distance

Thursday saw the remaining Outreach attendees visiting St Elvis Farm double-chambered tomb (now sadly displaced by a farmer who tried to destroy it some one hundred years ago) and then on to the more remote Carn Wnda tomb.

St Elvis Farm double-chambered tomb (note the church in the background now converted into a farm building)
©
The Heritage Trust
 
 
Carn Wnda tomb (an example of an earth fast tomb)
©
The Heritage Trust
 

All-in-all it was a fascinating Outreach Event and thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended. The venue for next year’s Event is still to be decided but sites of historic and traditional interest in Devon and Cornwall have been suggested. For those who could not make our Event this year we hope to see you at next year’s – either in Wales or possibly in Devon and Cornwall.