13 Jul

Overgrown stones

This is my 6th month travelling around South Wales, following the legendary Trail Of The Boar Hunt from The Mabinogion and drawing the Neolithic monuments on its track and up until now we’ve only had the weather to contend with. But on our last day out we had a miserable day of relentless hostility directed at those looking for their ancestral heritage. The first site we visited was accessible via a public footpath according to the Ordnance Survey Map except the path had been blocked off with barbed wire and had disappeared anyway under a thicket of thorny undergrowth and as we were trying to find a way through the landowner appeared and started shrieking at us. So we left quickly without visiting the stone. Onto the next site which had some standing stones a few metres off the road in a field which strictly forbade access and the stones were so overgrown with grasses, red campion and giant hogweed that they could barely be seen. Then to a long barrow at the end of a long and winding public footpath that had been planted over with crops – if we’d trampled the crops we would have been guilty of criminal damage and if we’d skirted around the outside of the field, we’d be trespassing. And finally a stone in an open and public place – except it had been removed from it’s original setting and relocated. Hostility takes many forms.


I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials.  Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures. All the work I’m doing will eventually be featured in a solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September. If you want to know more, please click here.

If you want to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

6 Responses to “Hostility”

  1. Phil Cooper July 17, 2016 at 23:20 #

    Argh, so depressing hearing how these extraordinary stones are not being looked after and treasured as they should, they’re so important 😕

    • Rosie Scribblah July 18, 2016 at 05:56 #

      It’s so frustrating. Dewi has been looking at older OS maps and there are stones disappearing over the years.

  2. paperstew July 14, 2016 at 03:42 #

    How sad! Such a shame that people can be so nasty towards an awesome project. Glad you got in a little sketching!

    • Rosie Scribblah July 14, 2016 at 09:18 #

      They didn’t know about our project, the landowners were blocking access to anyone and everyone. It’s illegal to block a public footpath so we’re going to report two of the landowners to the relevant authorities. the third site wasn’t on a public right-of-way so there’s nothing that can be done 😦

      • paperstew July 14, 2016 at 21:08 #

        So glad you are going to report it! Keep those paths open! 😀
        It kinda reminds me of public roads in eastern Oregon….

      • Rosie Scribblah July 15, 2016 at 04:21 #

        Yes, I think these things have to be challenged. It’s disappointing that these people can’t see the potential in allowing others to visit these sites

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