Friday Trivia……..Stone Landmarks

Maen-Llia,-Brecon-Beacons

Maen Llia, Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales

Standing over 12ft tall this Bronze Age stone on the moors below the western slopes of Fan Fawr in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales,  is just one more mystery stone, one of thousands that are dotted across the British countryside. Like Maen Llia most of these stones are in isolated and often high locations.  For many of these stones there is strong archaeological evidence as to the possible use and importance of the stones and their location.  But for others it is just left to speculation and legend.  Many, and possibly Maen Llia was one, were just marker stones of ancient track ways. Some were to mark important territorial boundaries, others are claimed to have religious significance….but what ever the purpose it most have taken much manpower to move and position these monster stones.  Many are also inscribed with symbol’s or script, but on Maen Llia the moss and lichen have done a great job of hiding any markings to which weather erosion has added its destructive hand .   As to rumour….well legend locally says that at midsummer Maen Llia drinks from the river, Afon Llia.  I for one believe that, for at sundown on and arround midsummer the shadow of Maen Llia is at its longest and just touches the banks of the river.

Whatever the true purpose of many of these Standing Stones may never be truly known but it does add an air of mystery to our exploration of the countryside.  I also know that on a bleak, wet and misty day on the moors these stones do become very important way markers even though I have the benefit of a modern map and compass.

21st February

© David Oakes 2014