Standing Stones: OS Grid Reference – SM 9988 3591
Also Known as:
- Parc y Marw
- Parc y Meirw
Archaeology & History
This is an impressive and well-known megalithic stone row, found just 4-5 miles inland from the coastal town of Fishguard. The drawing here is used courtesy of Elizabeth Haines, landscape artist, and gives a fine representation of the site as I’m sure you’d agree! Consisting of at least eight standing stones — four still upright and four laid down — aligning northwest to southeast, the tallest stone stands at the southerly end measuring 11 feet tall. The stone row is found in a region rich in prehistoric remains. Aubrey Burl (1993) said of the place:
“Four of the eight stones in this unusual row still stand, trapped in a field-wall, tow of them now gateposts. Thom suggested that the line, 131ft (40m) long, was laid out downhill towards the WNW and the minor northern moonset just north of Mount Leinster ninety-one miles away across the Irish Sea.”
Quite a distance! And perhaps because of this, Burl thought that the nature of this line of stones was more archaeological than astronomical, with its focal point being more likely up the slope to the ESE instead.
There was once an adjacent chambered tomb here which, when it was “destroyed for a house in 1844 brought the owner no luck” (Thom, Thom & Burl 1990) – which is damn good to hear! There was a piece of folklore mentioned by E.L. Barnwell (1868) and other writers that the fields here marked the fall of three Welsh princes in the Battle of Mynydd Carn in 1084. In Roger Worsley’s (1988) fine tour of Pembrokeshire’s historical sites, he tells how these megaliths in the “field of the dead” are also haunted, saying:
“A local tale tells of Ladi Wen, a ghostly White Lady wandering about the fields at night, and who will kill anyone who ventures near; it was enough to keep villagers away from the site well into this century, though the stone row is over five thousand years old.”
- Barber, Chris & Williams, John Godfrey, The Ancient Stones of Wales, Blorenge: Abergavenny 1989.
- Barnwell, E.L., “Alignments in Wales,” in Archaeologia Cambrensis, volume 14, 1868.
- Burl, Aubrey, From Carnac to Callanish, Yale University Press 1993.
- Thom, Alexander, Thom, A.S. & Burl, Aubrey, Stone Rows and Standing Stones, BAR 560: Oxford 1990.
- Worsley, Roger, The Pembrokeshire Explorer, CCP: Abercastle 1988.
A huge thanks to Elizabeth Haines, Landscape Artist, for use of her drawing of Parc-y Meirw.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian