Monday, 24 October 2016

Gwaith 9: Bryn Celli Ddu (9 Oct 2016)

Helo Pawb (Everyone)

I have visited Bryn Celli Ddu twice before and written about the second one here. That blog explained my reasons for exploring it, and also Moel-y-don on the Menai Strait, so I won’t rehash them now. With this new visit, I wanted to check out the site for any seasonal changes I might be able to use in my novel and for anything else that might come up, as I’m sure will happen, given the synchronicities at other sites.

As I walked to the tomb, I took particular note of the trees and bird life and tracked the stream that ran nearby. The hedge along the track comprised hawthorn, blackthorn, guelder rose and rowan, while plenty of magpies, jackdaws and crows flew about and rasped, cawed and croaked their usual commentaries on the weather, winged life in general, and the interruptions by tourists. Near the tomb itself there were big Scots Pines and plenty of gorse, with a large outcrop of basalt rocks on a nearby hill.

Trees and bushes along the path to the tomb
Afon Braint, from a bridge between two sections of the path
First view of Bryn Celli Ddu, showing the back of the tomb with the reproduction 'Pattern Stone'.
Scots Pines at the nearby farm

Entrance to Bryn Celli Ddu
On the ledges inside the tomb, as I discovered last time, people had left offerings of shells, coins, sweets, crystals and feathers. After I also paid homage to the spirits of the place, I sat on the hard, uneven floor made of stone packed dirt, sketched the walls, the ceiling, and the ceremonial stone pillar, and noted the small pebbles and windblown tufts of grass lying around and the spider webs in the crevices of the walls. Brown dirt stained the bottoms of the massive slabs of rock forming the walls, while green lichen spread further up the slabs.

The passageway, looking out
Offerings on one of the ledges. Note the brown stain from the dirt floor.
The free standing pillar. Note also the green lichen and more offerings
When other visitors arrived, I stayed outside and sketched the tomb’s orientation to the stream and the nearby rock outcrops. I also spent time figuring out where I would place my main protagonist’s village so that he might stumble on the tomb after suffering a beating at the hands of other villages boys.

The lie of the land near the tomb.
(I had taken a video, which should more landscape, but the upload feature isn't working.)
 The entrance of the tomb is aligned to the summer solstice, so I considered having the village to the north. However, the lie of the land didn’t feel right, so the other option was to have the village to the south, on the other side of Afon Braint (Privilege River—What a great name!). This felt more appropriate for the story, even though the character’s discovery of the tomb would be more difficult to explain. Still, I have learnt to trust my instincts in poetic and story matters, and when I looked at my Explorer map, I noticed some intriguing sites downstream. As the next post will show, my investigations showed I had good reason to trust my instincts, though there was also some drama.

Another cloud shot (and you thought I was only obsessed with jackdaws)
As always, thanks for reading my ramblings and I welcome any comments.

Cofion Cynnes (Warm Regards)


Anonymous said...

Hi EARL, love the photos...I look forward to read more of your travels and I would love to see the sketches on your arrival home.
All the best Bill

Earl Livings said...

HI Bill, I previously left a reply, but it mustn't have been sent. Thanks, anyway, for enjoying the blog. As for the sketches, they're mainly diagrams and measurements of sites, but you're welcome to see them on my return. Give my love to all of the Bahr Clan. Earl x

Nadine Cresswell-Myatt said...

Just catching up on your blogs. What a powerful place. Great to read more of your adventures.

Earl Livings said...

Hi Nadine, As always, thanks for your appreciation of my work and your support. Cheers, Earl