« IndietroContinua »
irregular distances, are several smaller stones disturbed and broken up by the masons building the house of Nant y Clawdd....A crûg, or tumulus, of large circumference adjoins the temple.... A wide flat, now a turbary, surrounds it.... The large stones are not the stones of the country.” He adds that the sea at high water is visible from this point.
A general plan of the so-called temple (for even the good vicar doubted its having been an observatory) is here given in cut No. 1. What the whole arrangement was at the time that this description was given must be considered ambiguous. The crûg, or mound, has entirely vanished, for it is almost impossible that the one Mr. Lewis saw could have covered the principal group of stones now remaining, as the cromlech he describes is certainly the one now remaining, although it is not very easy to identify his account of all the details with those examined by the Association on the occasion of its visit. How far his estimation of the weight of the big stones was correct is also dubious, as that of the one given is certainly much under ten or fifteen tons.
The circle is formed by a low bank which may have been higher. It is rather oval than circular, the diameters being 70 and 50 feet. The rough heap figured in cut 2 is evidently the remains of a ruined cairn once containing a stone cist of some size. Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, are the supporters of the large stone, and most probably those described by Mr. Lewis. 5 and 6 are two large stones in a trench, and which seem to have been parts of the side of the chamber nearest them. The capstone is still supported by four stones as described; but Mr. Lewis mentions four similar but smaller stones of about four or five tons each, which surround it; “but these are all slipt from their respective fulera, and lie now in a shelving position”. This brief account is not very clear, nor is it certain what is meant by “surrounding it". If he meant the chamber, this would not have been practicable, as it
was not detached, as the present remains show. It could not then have been surrounded in the full meaning of the term. It is more likely that the stones 5, 6, were two of them. The other two, now missing, may have been on the opposite side, and served the same purpose, namely, of forming the sides of the chamber. But it may fairly be inferred that they were parts of the sides of the chamber; for not being in contact with or supporting the capstone, they may have been easily removed. It is very rare to find the actual supporters of a capstone to be more than four. They are sometimes only three. All the other stones placed merely to enclose the chamber, and supporting no weight, are generally found wanting, as they could be removed without danger to the rest of the structure.
On referring to the plan (cut No. 1) it will be seen that a line of chambers ran across a part of the circle, something like, although on a much smaller scale and more imperfect condition, to the line of the Trefigneth chambers near Holyhead, so well made known to the public through the description of them by the Hon. W. O. Stanley of Penrhos, illustrated from his accurate drawing. If these were originally three chambers, as those of Trefigneth, there must have been much difference in their size and importance. They have, however, been so disturbed and dislocated that it is not certain whether they formed one long, continuous, or three smaller and separate ones. Both systems were practised, although in Wales we have no instances Iike those of the elongated chambers in France and Spain.
In addition to this group, a few large stones are scattered about in the other part of the circle. They are possibly the relics of another chamber or chambers which must have been removed long before 1800, as otherwise Mr. Lewis could hardly have passed them over. He does, indeed, mention a crûg or tumulus; and that it existed in his time there can be no doubt. He describes it as near the Temple, and surrounded by “a wide, flat