Carn Menyn: The Promontory

As mentioned in the ‘Art and Archaeology’ page, the set of rock outcrops that collectively form the Carn Menyn ridge include a “promontory”, a spur of the outcrops that juts out to the south.

The S.P.A.C.E.S. project, led by Geoffrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill, located a quarry, probably Neolithic, in the north-west corner of the promontory, and discovered that the neck or entrance to the promontory was marked by a prehistoric earthwork boundary, suggesting that it was denoted as a sacred space. It was decided to make this one of the zones of intensive visual and acoustic study at Carn Menyn.

Carn Menyn Focus Areas

Carn Menyn: The Promontory
Acoustic Corner
Carn Goedog
Beddarthur, Carn Bica and Carn Sian
Pont Saeson

Related Locations

Gors Fawr
Garn Turne
Carn Besi
Carreg Samson
Pentre Ifan
Ffynnon Druidion
Strumble Head
Ffyst Samson

A plan of the Carn Menyn outcrops (north is to top), showing various specific zones focused on by the project. The location of the Promontory is indicated

This line of rocks sits on an earthen berm that extends to the big rock at right in this picture, and goes on beyond it, providing a boundary or temenos across the entire neck or entrance of the promontory which extends off-camera to the left

In the central area of the promontory is this large block of rock, which has a vulvic-shaped hollow in its top, seen here filled with rainwater. Could this ‘mother rock’ have been one factor that signified the sanctity of this promontory to the Neolithic people of Carn Menyn?

Exploring the jumbled, partially collapsed ‘quarry corner’ in the north-east of the promontory

Testing for lithophone properties amid the jumbled remains of bluestones in the quarry corner of the promontory. The project found that overall lithophones comprised about 10 percent of the rocks along the Carn Menyn ridge, but at a few spots, such as here at the quarry, that rose to 40 percent or more. This could have been another reason the promontory was venerated. The audio clip here gives the sound of just one of the ‘quarry corner’ rocks

Sounding a lithophone in the central area of the promontory

Striking a lithophone on the western edge of the promontory

An investigator leans against a fallen or dropped bluestone pillar in the promontory quarry area that may have been abandoned by the Neolithic megalith builders for some reason after being originally destined for Stonehenge. The pillar is a lithophone

Natural rock formation at the quarry corner of the promontory. Even parts of this resonate like a tin drum

Looking out from the western side of the promontory

Part of the southern tip of the promontory, looking southeast

Testing for lithophones on the slope of tumbled rocks at the southern point of the promontory

Looking up from below at part of the rock tumble at the southern end of the promontory. The tree is one of only two on the Carn Menyn outcrops