Gower’s ‘Secret’ Standing Stones

Written by forestelf

Tucked away, many would say hidden, in Gower’s quiet countryside stand nine mysterious Standing Stones (Menhirs). Standing Stones pose difficult questions for archaeologists and historians alike. Despite often exhaustive research and excavations, very little is still known about these enigmatic megaliths. An assorted number of reasons have been suggested for their existence – funerary sites, way markers, boundary posts and ley line signifiers all number amongst present day theories for the stone’s existence. All that can really be stated, with any real authority, is that these monuments were the work of Bronze Age Man. But whatever theory the present reader ascribes to these stones, their visual magnificence and historic importance can never be denied.

No-one knows exactly how many standing stones were once scattered around the Gower Peninsula. Recent theories have even suggested that one stood as far east as Penclawdd. Today, only nine remain to be visited. A word of caution, however, must be noted to those intrepid individuals willing to pass an afternoon following the succeeding route that visits all of these memorials. Some of these stones have become shy creatures and have hidden themselves amongst the tangled undergrowth of hedge boundaries and overgrown fields. None announce themselves to visitors in the manner of other megalithic Gower monuments such as Arthur’s Stone (Cefn Bryn) and Giant’s Grave (Parkmill). Many visitors to Gower must have tried to find these stones with the aid of a pair of walking boots and an ordnance survey pathfinder map. Of these, an unaccountable number must have failed. The stones’ locations, even on the most detailed Ordnance Survey map, are vague to say the least and it took me several visits to accurately pinpoint some of the more retiring of the menhirs. That said, the present reader can now forego the hit and miss treks over Gower’s farmland that may have hitherto dissuaded all but the most fervent against such visits. For the first time, a complete guide to reaching all of Gower’s Standing Stones can now direct even the most uninitiated country walker to the splendour and brooding magnificence of Gower’s mysterious menhirs.

 

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