Archive | 21:20

The Living Stones

17 Apr

Tyn Cellar

We managed to get to 4 ancient stones earlier this week and this one, Ty’n y Selar, is near Margam, in a field right next to the M4 motorway. It’s a fine large menhir, around 8 feet tall, but the sound of the traffic really intruded into the atmosphere of the place, disrupting the peace. A legend says that Saint Samson threw it into the field from Margam Hill; one of the locals we met told us of a legend that the stone regularly walks to take a drink at the local pub! I also read that the stone walks to the sea to drink each Christmas morning before the cock crows. There have been several other stones on my journey with Dewi and Melvyn that are supposed to be able to walk to take a drink.

One thing I’ve noticed about the stones as I’ve been travelling across South Wales is that they are rarely cold to the touch, they’re a comfortable temperature and most are covered with extensive colonies of lichens. I place my hand on each stone I visit, but carefully as lichen can be many years old and I don’t want to damage it. The temperature and the lichen give me an impression that the stones are somehow imbued with life, they are living stones.

I’m travelling around South West Wales with archaeologist Dewi Bowen who is researching his new book on Neolithic / Bronze Age monuments. His previous book on the stones of Ancient Siluria (South East Wales) can be found here. Accompanying us is film maker Melvyn Williams who is recording a documentary about our experiences. Some of Melvyn’s short films can be seen here. I’m currently working on a series of expressive drawings of ancestral sites and if you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

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