Standing stones in the Brecon Beacons National Park

There are over 30 standing stones in our National Park. Some of them are many centuries old and wreathed in myth.

It isn't known exactly how many of our surviving standing stones are prehistoric. Some appear to be memorial stones and others may well have had more than one function either as boundary markers, waymarks on ancient routeways, signposts or even rubbing stones for livestock.

Maen Llia

OS grid reference SN924191

Standing just 60m off the minor road between the Senni valley and Ystradfellte, this impressive stone is relatively easy to visit.

Made from a massive sandstone block which stands 3.7m high, the task of moving and erecting it must have been a huge challenge, especially as it is likely that a quarter to a third of the whole stone is below ground.

On a clear day it can be seen from quite some distance down the Llia valley suggesting that it may have been important as a territorial marker. Standing at an altitude of 573m it is also thought to be the highest standing stone in South Wales.

Image (above) © www.dave-pemcoastphotos.com

Maen Madoc

OS grid reference SN918157

At almost 2.7m in height, this imposing stone (pictured right) stands high on the moors alongside the Roman road, Sarn Helen.

The Latin inscription, DERVACUS FILIUS JUSTI IC JACIT translates as Dervacus, son of Justus, lies here. Dervacus was a sixth century Roman name.

Although widely recognised as a Roman memorial stone, it may well have been erected in Bronze Age times. 

Saith Maen

OS grid reference SN833154

In some parts of the country, such as Dartmoor, stone rows are relatively common, but in the Brecon Beacons National Park this is the only one not associated with a stone circle, making Saith Maen rather special to us.

Saith Maen means seven stones, and seven stones still survive at this remote moorland site, although sadly, at least two have now fallen.

Aligned from north-northeast to south-southwest in the direction of Cerrig Duon stone circle, the stones vary in height from 1.7 to 0.5m and form a row 13.7m long. Many believe there is a spiritual and important link between the two sites.