Carn Besi

This carn is situated to the south of the Mynydd Preseli massif at SN156277 and was visited as part of our policy of visually mapping a selection of monuments on and around the Mynydd Preseli upland. All that survives of this dolmen now is a capstone that is collapsed down onto a jumble of (formerly supporting) rocks in a hollow in the ground situated in a corner of a field.

The monument as it now survives may not be much to see, but the visual mapping from it is dramatic. To the north, the skyline exactly frames Carn Menyn from the position of the dolmen. This is unlikely to have been accidental.

Carn Besi supports our growing finding that the dolmens in this part of Wales, even as far away as Carreg Samson, were located to be in sight of Mynydd Preseli and, as in the case of Garn Turne, other especially striking outcrops as well. This in turn increases the growing suspicion we have obtained by “looking through Stone Age eyes” in this pilot study that the major rock outcrops in this region were themselves venerated features in prehistoric times, and respected by the builders of certain types of monument, and even, in the case of Carn Menyn, it seems that their very fabric, their rocks, were considered sacred enough to be transported to the site of a new monument (Stonehenge) far away.

The full Landscape & Perception project will extend this sampling conducted during the pilot study to check every single dolmen site in the region to test just how comprehensive this particular form of visual mapping is. The extent of the visual network may indicate the extent of a cognitive zone in Neolithic times.

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

fig.1 - The remnants of Carn Besi

fig.2 - The northern skyline as it actually appears from Carn Besi – Carn Menyn is the small rounded hilltop near the centre.

fig.3 - A telephoto view from the same position showing the crags of Carn Menyn.