Sacred landscape of a pagan past
The abundance of funerary and ritual monuments on the Gregennan plateau beneath Cader Idris suggests that this was an important ceremonial centre in prehistoric times. The majority of these sites are thought to be Bronze Age and date to the 2nd millennium BC. They appear to follow the route of a major ancient trackway, a route still followed by a minor road and marked by a succession of standing stones.
No contemporary settlement has ever been found here, which has led to speculation that the site’s purpose was strictly ceremonial and would have been used by people from all over the local area. A rare, imported bronze bucket from central Europe, discovered by chance at Arthog near Dolgellau, is thought to have been a ritual deposit and has been dated to the late Bronze Age.
A circular walk of around 2.5 miles (4 km), which begins and ends at the car park next to Llyn Gregennan, takes visitors on a tour of these monuments. After passing the standing stone of Carreg y Big and a number of Bronze Age funerary cairns, the path eventually reaches the stone circle of Arthog. This is thought in fact to be a ruined cairn rather than a true stone circle, but in truth so little of this monument remains that it is impossible to determine its original purpose. In spite of this, the magnificent views of Cadair Idris and the stunning Mawddach Estuary make it easy to appreciate why the area’s ancient inhabitants considered Gregennan to be a special site.
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Family Walk
- Wheelchair Access
Minor road from Dolgellau to Arthog signposted Cader Idris.
Barmouth - 12 miles
Dolgellau bus stop
Near National Route 82 Lôn Las Cymru
Choice of walking routes
Moderate circular walk approx. 2 1/2 miles from Llynnau Cregennan National Trust car park. Walking boots required. Dogs must be on lead. Wheelchair access near lake.
Full Figure Grid Reference - National Trust car park: SH 657142
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
- Gregennan Bronze Age Burial Site and Ceremonial Landscape, Dolgellau