The ‘Welsh Crown of Thorns’
Described by Professor Aubrey Burl as one of the wonders of prehistoric Wales, this cairn circle has also been called arguably the most beautiful Bronze Age monument in Britain – and with good cause. Travellers approaching from the south are met by an impressive silhouette of thin, jagged pillars of slate with quartz veining. Between 15 and 20 of them remain in situ, arranged in a circle 8.5 metres (28 feet) in diameter. Because of its appearance, this unusual and striking monument has been referred to as the ‘Welsh Crown of Thorns’. Though no formal excavation has ever been conducted, the cairn is believed to date to the Bronze Age, around 4000 years ago, and is thought to have served as a burial mound.
A hole, still visible in the mound of stones at the centre of the circle, is thought to be the result of activity by 19th-century treasure seekers. It may once have contained a cist, or grave, thought to be the ‘kistvaen’ mentioned by naturalist and botanist Edward Llwyd in 1698. Further damage followed when the cairn was used for target practice during the Second World War. In spite of this, the site is remarkably well preserved.
Bryn Cader Faner can be reached via a Public Right of Way footpath from the end of the minor road above Eisingrug, or from a footpath up the hillside from the minor road between Talsarnau and LlynTecwyn. A sturdy pair of boots is recommended!
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
Follow the Talsarnau or Llandecwyn roads
Llandecwyn or Talsarnau
Llandecwyn / Talsarnau bus stop
Lôn Las Cymru Route 8 nearby
Various tracks / footpaths. Llwybr Ardudwy.
Long walk on upland path, can be wet underfoot. Walking boots and suitable clothing essential. Dogs must be on lead. OS map essential.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 647354
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
- Bryn Cader Faner, Talsarnau