Cors-y-Gedol turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. We had planned to spend the day exploring an area south of Harlech, with the main place on our itinerary being the burial cairns at Dyffryn Ardudwy ( previous post).
This was one of the occasions where the information board at one site mentioned another interesting dolmen in the area (one I hadn’t heard of), so after a look round the burial cairn at Dyffryn Ardudwy we headed south from the village and took the next road left to Cors-y-Gedol.
This was a long straight road lined with oak trees and led up the hill to the Elizabethan manor house of Cors-y-Gedol. At the top of the road was a car park which was the starting point for various footpaths and walking routes up into the hills. We parked here and went through a field gate onto a gated farm road that led across the hillside.
It was a very pleasant walk along the road and the dolmen was right beside the road, so no problem finding this one!
The large capstone is supported by an upright at the front but the rear is resting on the cairn material. Like most dolmens, it would have been a long cairn with a cairn of stones covering the chamber and extending some distance to the rear, making it a long trapezoidal shape. This one was about 25m long and some of the cairn material is still clearly visible on the ground.
There isn’t much left of the burial chamber and most of the stones from the cairn would have provided useful building material over the years but it is still a picturesque dolmen in a very attractive setting.
Walking along the road I’d noticed a lot of stones lying around and outlines of stone structures in the grass and undergrowth. Further investigation revealed that the whole area, particularly to the east (on the hill side of the track) was covered in what is probably the remains of hut circles and enclosures. No doubt providing plenty evidence of this area having been inhabited and farmed for thousands of years.
Further along the road I came to this hut circle, probably dating back to the Iron-age.
The remains of the walls are probably quite well preserved underneath the grass and vegetation that’s grown over them.
Oak trees and gnarled hawthorns growing round the rim of the site emphasis the circular shape and give the interior quite an enclosed and private feel.
From the car park you can do a short walk along the road to the cairn, but for a longer circular walk you can carry on until you reach the River Ysgethin. From there you can follow a footpath up the hillside and back down to the car park. The path skirts round this area which is full of intriguing remains. Definitely requires another visit and more investigation!