A long high route through a Bronze Age landscape
The Carneddau - in English, ‘the cairns’, are a group of mountains in Snowdonia comprising the largest continuous area of high ground in England and Wales. The area covered by this range includes over one thousand ancient monuments.
The Carneddau take their name from a collection of more than 20 cairns, thought to date from the Bronze Age (2300–800 BC) and believed to be tombs. There are extensive paths in the area and many routes available to those who wish to visit these sites.
Some of the more prominent sites are as follows. Along the ridge of Carnedd Dafydd lie three cairns: Carnedd Fach Cairn, a cairn to the south-west of Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Dafydd itself. Further north there is a cairn at the summit of Carnedd Llywelyn; two smaller cairns are on a crag to the north and one, known as Tristan’s Cairn, is to the south-west of the summit. To the north-west, on the ridge of Drosgl, two cairns were excavated in July 1976, from which an intact cremation was removed. On a ridge north of Drum summit lies a cairn where, it is said, 18th-century grave robbers discovered a gold object.
A Bronze Age barrow 300 metres south of Drum summit is largely vanished today, (but this was also excavated in the early 20th century by W O Roberts). A Bronze Age beaker was found there, and this may be seen today in the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor.
Bethesda A5 then minor roads to the east of the village
Bangor - 6 miles
Bus stop in Bethesda
Lôn Las Ogwen cycle path nearby at Bethesda
Walk from Gerlan, Bethesda
High mountain paths. Walking boots, suitable clothing and OS map required.
Full Grid Reference -Drosgl summit : SH 663680, Drosgl North SH 654688
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- Carneddau Mountaintop Cairns , Bethesda