The Offerings

24 Mar
Arthur's Stone / Maen Ceti

Arthur’s Stone / Maen Ceti

This is the third and final drawing I did at Arthur’s Stone on the Gower Peninsular on Tuesday. It’s the fastest and perhaps the most abstracted of the three. I loved the brushstrokes of the home-made walnut ink so much that I didn’t want to cover them so I kept the linear drawing of the stones very simple to allow the background to show through. There are legends associated with Arthur’s Stone, one of the oddest is that the stone travels over Cefn Bryn at dawn to drink from a local stream. There’s a similar story about the Maen Llia stone near Ystradfellte.

The monument is a Neolithic burial chamber, one of the first sites to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act (1882) and it’s long association with the dead is reflected in the offerings that are often placed on it or nearby. This week I found a memorial around a small stone on the periphery of the site, simple wooden crosses with regimental badges and some flowers. We found another offering, or maybe a shrine, up at Llyn Fawr in the Cynon Valley a couple of weeks ago. A hoard of ancient votive offerings, including bronze cauldrons and arrow heads, have been found in the lake and it’s a popular place for anglers. Somebody had carefully set up this little chap nearby, perhaps to encourage the local water spirits to look favourably on their fishing. The tradition of acknowledging the importance of these places continues through the millenia ……

2 Responses to “The Offerings”

  1. notes to the milkman March 24, 2016 at 23:43 #

    I don’t understand the crosses. Clearly the site is from well before the Christian era.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 25, 2016 at 07:20 #

      People honour their dead in their own way. I was drawing down there once when a load of people came along to scatter someone’s ashes and they said Christian prayers. Many churches are built on much older sacred sites. There’s an underlying continuity in the stones that transcends religion, politics, culture, that still draws people to them.

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