This wonderful and evocative stone circle, considered one of the finest examples in Britain, forms part of a complex of ancient monuments on moorland above the town of Penmaenmawr. The circle consists of 30 stones, 11 of which are still standing, set into the inner edge of a low embankment about 35 metres in diameter.
Known locally as the Meini Hirion, or 'long stones' in English, the site was excavated in the 1950s. It revealed a capstone of a finely made cist (burial chamber), with stones, including quartz, scattered unevenly around it. Inside the cist was a food vessel that contained the cremated bones of a child aged between 10 and 12. The vessel is now in the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor.
A second cremation was found in another pit. A plain food vessel contained the cremated bones of a child aged between 11 and 13, accompanied by a small bronze riveted knife. Children’s remains within these circles may point to spiritual beliefs in youth and regeneration for the communities that used them. These monuments would have been important social places, where people gathered at certain times throughout the year.
A tentative date of 1450–1400 BC was proposed for the construction of the Meini Hirion, which would place them in the Bronze Age, though it was acknowledged at the time that it could be much older, dating from 3000 BC. The ring is not a perfect circle, being slightly flattened on the north-east side where a trackway cuts across.It has been proposed that the circle deliberately avoids this track, which would suggest that the track is earlier. Either way, the Meini Hirion are thought to predate the Druids by many hundreds of years, and the structure only acquired its English name of Druid’s Circle in the 19th century.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
From Penmaenmawr follow the road in the direction of Dwygyfylchi. Follow signpost for Druid’s Circle / Graig Lwyd Road. Park by Jubilee Walk gateposts.
Penmaenmawr - 1 mile
Bus stop at Penmaenmawr Railway Station
40 minute walk along footpath
Footpath is a moderate walk. Walking boots recommended. Dogs must be on lead.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 722746
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- Meini Hirion (Druid's Circle), Penmaenmawr