Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – SO 1562 2039
Also Known as:
- Gliffaes Stone
- Llywn y Fedwen
Not too difficult – and its size makes it pretty easy to spot! About 100 yards across the river bridge from Llangynidr, there’s a small path heading into the trees by the riverside. Walk along it, or whichever way you find easiest to walk along the riverbank. Then as you reach the third field along, look up into the hedgerow-cum-fence above you and you’ll notice the old stone sticking up! Head for it!
Archaeology & History
A 14 foot tall standing stone with a most peculiar ‘modern’ history to it. Some of you will like this, others may have palpitations – but… In recent times, since the notion of “energy at megaliths” have been in vogue, this was one of the first monoliths found to possess magnetic anomalies. Described by the writer Francis Hitching (1976), he asked the Welsh dowser Bill Lewis to dowse at this stone and checked the results. Lewis dowsed a spiral of ‘energy’ rising up the stone as he did at many standing stones, and urged Hitching to see if he could bring his findings to the attention of any scientists. So Hitching contacted the physicist professor John Taylor — he of Black Holes fame, of Kings College, London — who felt that Lewis’ dowsing finds were probably due to him sensing subtle changes in the magnetic field of the stone. And so with this in mind, he sent a young Argentinian physicist called Eduardo Balanovski, armed with a gaussmeter, to see what they could find. As Hitching later wrote:
“What Balanovski found surprised him very much. After checking the background levels and setting the meter at zero, he pointed the measuring probe at the stone. The needle on the dial shot up, showing an anomaly far greater than the few thousandths or hundredths of a gauss that would have been normal…
“Balanovski has no doubt that the basic anomaly…is significant: ‘The point is that a water-diviner told us about it, and we went there and found something measurable. It may be the stone contains, geologically, the reason for the anomaly. Or it may be caused by something we don’t yet understand. But I do not personally believe that the stone was accidentally chosen or accidentally placed. The people who put it there knew about its power, even if they didn’t know about electromagnetism.'”
This initial finding brought Taylor himself to the place, where he, Balanovski and Lewis set to work.
“Lewis was filmed marking with chalk the places on the stone where he dowsed ‘energy nodes.’ When the gaussmeter probe was passed down the stone, it did register increases of magnetism at the marked points – there seemed to be ‘a very strong field on and around the stone, which seemed to fall in bands,’ as Hitching put it. It was a very impressive demonstration. Taylor urged caution, pointing out that much more work would need to be done to be sure of such reactions.”
Further work was eventually carried out by the Dragon Project, where no anomalous readings were found. Hmmm….
- Devereux, Paul, Places of Power, Blandford: London 1990.
- Hitching, Francis, Earth Magic, Cassell: London 1976.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian