Careg Bica, Dyffryn Clydach, Glamorgan

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – SS 72500 99602

Archaeology & History

An interesting new cup-marked stone found by Paul Blades is this smooth rounded (female) stone that may originally have had some relationship with the tall standing stone of Careg Bica 160 yards to the south.  Around ten cup-marks are etched onto its surface, in a seemingly random arrangement (as usual!).  Although it seems to be an isolated carving, it’s likely that others will exist in the area.

Carving & outlying monolith
Careg Bica petroglyph

The direction and proximity of the standing stone may have had some relationship with the carving.  In traditional northern hemisphere societies, the cardinal direction North is generally associated with darkness and death, primarily due to the fact that this is the area in the heavens where neither sun or moon ever appear; whilst South relates to life and positive natural associations due to it being the high point of the sun during the day. This animistic attribute existed till recently in the water-lore of northern England and Scotland where “south-running streams bore a high repute.”  Whilst such mythic attributes are well established, any cardinal relationship here is purely speculative.

AcknowledgementsHuge thanks to Paul Blades for use of his photos in this site profile – and of course for finding the stone!

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 

Upper Killay, Swansea, Glamorgan

Long Barrow (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SS 5848 9227

Also Known as:

  1. Cae Bryn-y-garn

Archaeology & History

Described in 1925 in a report by the Royal Institute of South Wales as “the remains of a long barrow,” it seems that all remains of this old site have been destroyed.  Where the long tomb once stood are now some bungalows (anyone know if they’re haunted!?).

The tomb was quite an impressive one from all accounts: aligning north-northeast, it was some 20 yards long and 10 yards wide (at its widest), standing between 6-8 feet tall.  When building operations started here in 1959, a disturbed mound of stones was noticed, but by 1965 the bungalows had been built where once rested the ancient dead.

The field-name to its immediate east — Cae Bryn-y-garn — tells us the old name of the cairn, as known to local folk.  Quite what its folklore may have been, I’ve yet to hear…


  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments, Wales, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan – Volume 1, HMSO: Cardiff 1976.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian