Nearest town: Porthmadog
Nearest village: Talsarnau
Map reference: SH 647354
This magnificent and remote monument
was probably a burial site
Isolated on a rocky eminence, Bryn Cader Faner is one of the wonders of prehistoric Wales, as stated by Professor Aubrey Burl, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful Bronze Age sites in Britain. It is a small cairn 8,5m (28ft) wide and less than 1m (3ft) high, with fifteen thin slabs leaning out of the mass of the monument like a crown of thorns.
A combination of stone circle and burial mound, Bryn Cader Faner bears some resemblance with Carn Llechart, in Glamorgan (Wales), and it is probably the result of a fusion of traditions. The site was disturbed by 19th century treasure-seekers, who left a hole in the center indicating the position of a cist or a grave. Originally there may have been about 30 pillars, each some 2m (6ft) long. Unfortunately the Army, before the Second World War, removed some stones on the east side.
Carefully placed in its dramatic setting so as to achieve maximum impact on travellers approaching from the south, this visually superb monument is well worth the long and demanding walk: a detailed map and a compass are essential.
In the same area there is a complex of several cairns and settlements.