Monday, 20 July 2015

the quest

Monday 29 June 2015

Yet another hot-sunny-blue-sky-day dawns!!  Sun tan lotion all round and off into the wilds of the Preseli Hills in search of the missing Bluestone that never made it to Stonehenge!

Legend, according to Roger Worsley's 'Pembrokeshire Explorer', has it that when the ancients carted off the bluestones from Preseli to deepest Wiltshire, to erect the innermost circle of 12 stones at Stonehenge, they damaged one en route and had to make the 12th up from sandstone.
However, they went back to Preseli and carved up a replacement 12th bluestone, complete with tooled sides and bulbous foot, ready to take to Stonehenge - BUT, for some unknown reason, this 12th stone was left abandoned in the Preseli Hills at the Carn Meini hillfort.

The quest of the awesome eight was to find this stone!!!! 
So, all for one and one for all, off we marched across the windswept, craggy hill forts in the steps of the ancient celts.
until we neared our destination - sustained by flapjack and bara brith and guided by a flurry of Duke of Edinburgh explorers, who pointed us in the right direction
This was what we were looking for - the said stone lying prone on the ground

and as we rounded the corner - what did we spot but . . . 
 the missing bluestone .  . . .
and here are the triumphant conquerers, astride said stone of great powers.
And compare this to the above sketch - uncanny!!
(Loved these eight rocks also craning to get into a photo!!)
So it was a descent to the plain and a quick viewing of Gors Fawr stone circle and standing stones
before retiring to the most amazing pub ever - the Dyffryn Arms at Pontfaen.  This is the CAMRA entry and in the CAMRA guide it has a special star as one of the rare remaining unspoilt pubs left in the UK,
 and what a gem - beer served from jugs through the little hatch.
and we managed to put the world to rights for an hour or so!
Loved this portrait of Bessie herself, the 85 year old landlady.  She was under the weather the day we visited, but it was nice to hear her chatting from her parlour alongside the bar. Her granddaughter served us, saying that Bessie wasn't too well today so she was helping out.
You can read about Bessie's 80th birthday celebrations back in 2010 here: Western Mail
I found this great video on Youtube which will bring the pub more to life
and this was the entrance
complete with sleepy hound
 and outside loos
So we tore ourselves away and headed back along the coast to Newport where we had time for a quick saunter down to this port before our cafe opened at six.  Note the grassy estuary bottom - the tide was out - and a few days later you'll see my pics when the tide was in - a glorious little port.
Back in the town, we discovered the fabulous Canteen - trendy and friendly and everything homemade with a cheery smile.  Take a look at their menu - I had the amazing Land of our Fathers pizza and glorious it was too!

Welsh word of the day: carreg = rock

Postscript - Want to know the EXACT location of the missing bluestone - look no further!

Why not read on to Tuesday's adventures by clicking here . . . .
(or if you want to go back and start at the beginning of this holiday - then click here to go back)


  1. What amazing scenery! Pub looks really interesting too!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. The pub was a real gem - let's hope it survives . . .

  2. Wonderful photos of a very atmospheric place and a truly noble quest! This has made me really want to go there!

  3. Wonderful photos of a very atmospheric place - I bet you could feel the energy? This has really made me want to there one day :)