A menhir, standing stone, orthostat, or lith is a large man-made upright stone dating from the European middle Bronze Age. They can be found as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Menhirs' size can vary but they are uneven and squared tapering towards the top, they are distributed across Europe and Asia, but most numerous in Western Europe. Standing stones are difficult to date, but pottery, or pottery shards, found underneath some in Atlantic Europe connects them with the Beaker people, they were constructed during many different periods across pre-history as part of the larger megalithic cultures in Europe and near areas. Some menhirs have been erected next to buildings that have an early or current religious significance. One example is the South Zeal Menhir in Devon, which formed the basis for a 12th-century monastery built by lay monks; the monastery became the Oxenham Arms hotel, at South Zeal, the standing stone remains in place in the ancient snug bar at the hotel. Where menhirs appear in groups in a circular, henge or horseshoe formation, they are sometimes called megalithic monuments.
These are sites of ancient religious ceremonies. The exact function of menhirs has provoked more debate than any other issue in European pre-history. Over the centuries, they have variously been thought to have been used by Druids for human sacrifice, used as territorial markers, or elements of a complex ideological system, or functioned as early calendars; until the nineteenth century, antiquarians did not have substantial knowledge of prehistory, their only reference points were provided by classical literature. The developments of radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology have advanced scientific knowledge in this area; the word menhir was adopted from French by 19th-century archaeologists. The introduction of the word into general archaeological usage has been attributed to the 18th-century French military officer Théophile Corret de la Tour d'Auvergne, it is a combination of two words of the Breton language: hir. In modern Welsh, they are described as maen hir, or "long stone". In modern Breton, the word peulvan is used, with peul meaning "stake" or "post" and van, a soft mutation of the word maen which means "stone".
Nothing is known of the social organization or religious beliefs of the people who erected the menhirs. There is not any trace of these people's language. Identifying their uses remains speculative; until menhirs were associated with the Beaker people, who inhabited Europe during the European late Neolithic and early Bronze Age—later third millennium BC, c. 2800–1800 BC. However, recent research into the age of megaliths in Brittany suggests a far older origin back to six to seven thousand years ago. Many menhirs are engraved with megalithic art; this turned them into anthropomorphic stelae, although images of objects such as stone axes, shepherd crooks and yokes were common. With the exception of the stone axe, none of these motifs are definite, the name used to describe them is for convenience; some menhirs were broken up and incorporated into passage graves, where they had new megalithic art carved with little regard for the previous pictures. It is not known if this re-use was deliberate or if the passage grave builders just saw menhirs as a convenient source of stone.
During the Middle Ages, standing stones were believed to have been built by the giants who lived before the biblical flood. Many of the megaliths were destroyed or defaced by early Christians, but it is estimated that some 50,000 megaliths once stood in Northern Europe, where 10,000 now remain. Le Roux, C. T. 1992. "The Art of Gavrinis Presented in its Armorican Context and in Comparison with Ireland." In Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland vol. 122, pp 79–108. Mohen, Jean-Pierre. 2000. Standing Stones. Stonehenge and the World of Megaliths, ‘New Horizons’ series. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-30090-9. Dolmens, Menhirs & Stones-Circles in the South of France – Menhirs of the "Cham des Bondons" New Theory – Henges – Engineering in Prehistory Rows of menhirs in Russia, South Ural List of menhirs and their related stories in Czech Republic Ancient Europe Placemarks Google Earth file downloads. Skela menhirs in Ukraine
The Rhinogydd are a range of mountains located east of Harlech in North Wales. The name Rhinogydd derives from the names of two of the more famous peaks, Rhinog Fawr and Rhinog Fach, although the greatest elevation in the range is reached by Y Llethr, 756 m. Foel Penolau, the northernmost summit of the range, was promoted to a Hewitt in 2018 due to a new survey; the Rhinogydd are notably rocky and heather-clad towards the northern end of the range around Rhinog Fawr, Rhinog Fach and towards Moel Ysgyfarnogod. The southern end, around Y Llethr and the Ysgethin Valley has a softer, grassy character. A population of feral goats are in the range. Over 30 km ² are protected as a Special Area of a National Nature Reserve; the Rhinogydd are formed of hard sedimentary rocks of Cambrian age which occur as a major anticlinal structure known to geologists as the Harlech Dome. This structure which originated during the Caledonian Orogeny extends from Cadair Idris in the south to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the north.
Its erosion by successive ice ages has left the peaks of the Rhinogydd visible today. The core of the area is formed from the hard-wearing greywackes of the Rhinog Formation; the formation contains and is overlain by some siltstones and mudstones which form a broken zone of softer scenery around the periphery of the area's rugged core. In places, swarms of dolerite dykes cut through the country rocks in a northwest-southeast direction. Much of the lower ground is mantled by a legacy of the last ice age; the geology of the area was first characterised by Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison in 1835. The Geological Survey began work in the area in 1846 and their first maps were published in 1855. With the discovery of gold in the area in 1846, the state of geological knowledge increased dramatically. At least a dozen major publications appeared between 1844 and 1939; the Rhinogydd are far less well known than the areas in the north of the Snowdonia National Park, such as the Glyderau and the Snowdon massif itself.
This is due to the rugged nature of the landscape in the Rhinogydd and the fame of Snowdon as the highest peak in Wales. The Rhinog mountains are popular with hillwalkers looking for a more isolated, wilder walking experience; the peaks of the range are most accessed from the west side. Two valleys - Cwm Nantcol and Cwm Bychan - lead deep into the mountains and may be reached from the village of Llanbedr; the most popular walking route in this area begins at the Roman Steps at 52°51′16.76″N 4°0′18.43″W, which leads from Cwm Bychan through Bwlch Tyddiad and around Rhinog Fawr. Despite the name, these steps are not Roman and are in fact the well preserved remains of a medieval packhorse trail leading from Chester to Harlech Castle. At the top of the Roman Steps, the route curves around the eastern end of Rhinog Fawr and enters Cwm Nantcol via Bwlch Drws Ardudwy. A different path leads from Cwm Nantcol, passing around the western end of Rhinog Fawr back to Cwm Bychan via Gloywlyn, completing a circular route that can be completed in a day.
The range contains the following Marilyns: Y Llethr 756 m Rhinog Fawr 720 m Y Garn 629 m Moel Ysgyfarnogod 623 m Moelfre 589 mthe following Hewitts: Rhinog Fach 712 m Diffwys 750 m Foel Penolau 614 mand the following Nuttalls: Crib-y-rhiw 670 m Diffwys West Top 642 m Time Out - Wales. The new Umbria? 9 Walks in the Rhinog Mountains
Bryn Cader Faner
Bryn Cader Faner is a Bronze Age round cairn which lies to the east of the small hamlet of Talsarnau in the Ardudwy area of Gwynedd in Wales. The diameter is 8.7 metres and there are 18 thin jagged pillars which jut upwards from the low cairn. It is thought to date back to the late third millennium BC; 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. There may have been about 30 pillars, each some 2 metres long. However, before the Second World War, the British army used the site for gunnery practice and damaged many of the stones on the east side. Bryn Cader Faner is thought to mean'the hill with the chair with the flag' or'the hill of the throne with the flag'
A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area in the form of a peak. A mountain is steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism; these forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode through the action of rivers, weather conditions, glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits. High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level; these colder climates affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing; the highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m. There is no universally accepted definition of a mountain.
Elevation, relief, steepness and continuity have been used as criteria for defining a mountain. In the Oxford English Dictionary a mountain is defined as "a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable."Whether a landform is called a mountain may depend on local usage. Mount Scott outside Lawton, Oklahoma, USA, is only 251 m from its base to its highest point. Whittow's Dictionary of Physical Geography states "Some authorities regard eminences above 600 metres as mountains, those below being referred to as hills." In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a mountain is defined as any summit at least 2,000 feet high, whilst the official UK government's definition of a mountain, for the purposes of access, is a summit of 600 metres or higher. In addition, some definitions include a topographical prominence requirement 100 or 500 feet. At one time the U.
S. Board on Geographic Names defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet or taller, but has abandoned the definition since the 1970s. Any similar landform lower. However, the United States Geological Survey concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US; the UN Environmental Programme's definition of "mountainous environment" includes any of the following: Elevation of at least 2,500 m. Using these definitions, mountains cover 33% of Eurasia, 19% of South America, 24% of North America, 14% of Africa; as a whole, 24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous. There are three main types of mountains: volcanic and block. All three types are formed from plate tectonics: when portions of the Earth's crust move and dive. Compressional forces, isostatic uplift and intrusion of igneous matter forces surface rock upward, creating a landform higher than the surrounding features; the height of the feature makes it either a hill or, if steeper, a mountain. Major mountains tend to occur in long linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and activity.
Volcanoes are formed when a plate is pushed at a mid-ocean ridge or hotspot. At a depth of around 100 km, melting occurs in rock above the slab, forms magma that reaches the surface; when the magma reaches the surface, it builds a volcanic mountain, such as a shield volcano or a stratovolcano. Examples of volcanoes include Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines; the magma does not have to reach the surface in order to create a mountain: magma that solidifies below ground can still form dome mountains, such as Navajo Mountain in the US. Fold mountains occur when two plates collide: shortening occurs along thrust faults and the crust is overthickened. Since the less dense continental crust "floats" on the denser mantle rocks beneath, the weight of any crustal material forced upward to form hills, plateaus or mountains must be balanced by the buoyancy force of a much greater volume forced downward into the mantle, thus the continental crust is much thicker under mountains, compared to lower lying areas.
Rock can fold either asymmetrically. The upfolds are anticlines and the downfolds are synclines: in asymmetric folding there may be recumbent and overturned folds; the Balkan Mountains and the Jura Mountains are examples of fold mountains. Block mountains are caused by faults in the crust: a plane; when rocks on one side of a fault rise relative to the other, it can form a mountain. The uplifted blocks are block horsts; the intervening dropped blocks are termed graben: these can be small or form extensive rift valley systems. This form of landscape can be seen in East Africa, the Vosges, the Basin and Range Province of Western North America and the Rhine valley; these areas occur when the regional stress is extensional and the crust is thinned. During and following uplift, mountains are subjected to the agents of erosion which wear the uplifted area down. Erosion causes the surface of mountains to be younger than the rocks that form the mountains themselves. Glacial processes produce characteristic landforms, such as pyramidal peaks, knife-edge arêtes, bowl-shaped cirques that can contai
Talsarnau or Talsamau is a village and community in the Ardudwy area of Gwynedd in Wales. Its population of 525, increased to 550 at the 2011 Census; the village of Talsarnau is situated on the A496 coastal road between Maentwrog and Harlech, close to the hamlets of Eisingrug and Llandecwyn. It has one primary school and one pub, "The Ship Aground". Talsarnau railway station on the Cambrian Line serves the village
Rhinog Fawr is a mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales and forms part of the Rhinogydd range. It is the third highest summit of the Rhinogydd, losing out to Y Diffwys respectively, its smaller cousin Rhinog Fach lies to the south, separated by the pass of Bwlch Drws Ardudwy, while its other neighbour, Moel Ysgyfarnogod lies to the north. In common with most of the range, the terrain is characterised by hard sedimentary rock covered with heather, making progress on foot difficult. At 510m, nestled in crags, lies Llyn Du, a small tarn beneath the summit; the ascent is most made from the north-east or north-west, via the Roman Steps pass. Www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Rhinog Fawr and surrounding area
Blaenau Ffestiniog is a historic mining town in Wales, in the historic county of Merionethshire, although now part of the unitary authority of Gwynedd. The population of the community of Ffestiniog was 4,875 according to the 2011 census, including the nearby village of Llan Ffestiniog, which makes it the fourth most populous community in Gwynedd, after Bangor and Llandeiniolen. Llan Ffestiniog's population of 864 puts the population of Blaenau itself at around 4,000. Blaenau Ffestiniog was at one time the second largest town in North Wales, behind only Wrexham. After reaching 12,000 at the peak development of the slate industry, the population fell with the decline in the demand for its slate. Today the town relies on tourists, who come for attractions that include the nearby Ffestiniog Railway and Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Before the slate industry developed, the area now known as Blaenau Ffestiniog was a farming region, with scattered farms working the uplands below the cliffs of Dolgaregddu and Nyth-y-Gigfran.
A few of these historic farmhouses survive at Cwm Bowydd, Pen y Bryn and Cefn Bychan. Much of the land was owned by large estates; the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog was created to support workers in the local slate mines. In its heyday it was the largest town in Merioneth. In the 1760s men from the long established Cilgwyn quarry near Nantlle started quarrying in Ceunant y Diphwys to the north east of the present town; this valley had for a number of years been known for its slate beds and had been worked on a small scale. The exact location of this original quarry has been obliterated by subsequent mining activity, but it is that it was on or near the site of the Diphwys Casson Quarry. Led by Methusalem Jones, eight Cilgwyn men formed a partnership and took a lease on Gelli Farm where they established their quarry. In 1800, William Turner and William Casson, quarry managers from the Lake District, bought out the lease and expanded production. In 1819, quarrying began on the slopes of Allt-fawr near Rhiwbryfdir Farm.
This was on land owned by the Oakeley family from Tan y Bwlch. Within a decade, three separate slate quarries were operating on Allt-fawr and these amalgamated to form Oakeley Quarry which would become the largest underground slate mine in the world. Quarrying expanded in the first half of the 19th century. Significant quarries opened at Llechwedd and Votty & Bowydd, while Turner and Casson's Diphwys Casson flourished. Further afield and Wrysgan quarries were established to the south of the town, while at the head of Cwm Penmachno to the north east a series of quarries started at Rhiwbach, Cwt y Bugail and Blaen y Cwm. To the south east another cluster of quarries worked the slopes of Manod Mawr; the workforce for these quarries was taken from nearby towns and villages such as Ffestiniog and Maentwrog. Before the arrival of railways in the district, travel to the quarries was difficult and workers' houses were built near the quarries; these grew up around existing farms and along the roads between them.
An early settlement was at Rhiwbryfdir, serving the Llechwedd quarries. As early as 1801, new roads were being built to serve the quarries. By 1851, there were 3,460 people living in the new town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. During the 1860s and 1870s the slate industry went through a large boom; the quarries expanded as did the nascent town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. The town gained its first church and first school, saw considerable ribbon development along the roads. By 1881, the town's population had soared to 11,274; the boom in the slate industry was followed by a significant decline. The 1890s saw several quarries lose money for the first time, several failed including Cwmorthin and Nyth-y-Gigfran. Blaenau Ffestiniog hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1898. Although the slate industry recovered from the recession of the 1890s, it never recovered; the First World War saw many quarrymen join the Armed Forces, production fell. There was a short post-war boom, but the long-term trend was towards mass-produced tiles and cheaper slate from Spain.
Oakeley Quarry took over Cwmorthin, Votty & Bowydd and Diphwys Casson, while Llechwedd acquired Maenofferen. Despite this consolidation, the industry continued to decline; the Second World War saw a further loss of available workers. In 1946, the Ffestiniog Railway closed. In August 1945 the secluded farmhouse of Bwlch Ocyn, at Manod, which belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis, became the home, for three years, of the famous writer Arthur Koestler and his wife Mamaine. During his time at Bwlch Ocyn, Koestler would become a close friend of fellow writer George Orwell; the slate quarries continued to decline after 1950. The remaining quarries served by the Rhiwbach Tramway closed during the 1960s. Oakeley closed with the loss of many local jobs, it re-opened in 1974 on a much smaller scale and was worked until 2010. Maenofferen and Llechwedd continued to operate, but Maenofferen closed in 1998. Llechwedd is still a working quarry; as the slate industry declined, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog has declined, to 4,875 in 2011.
At the same time the tourism industry has become the town's largest employer. The revived Ffestiniog Railway and the Llechwedd Slate Caverns are popular tourist attractions, as is the Antur Stiniog downhill mountain biking centre. Recent attractions include the Zip World Titan zip-line site, which now features the Bounce Below slate mine activity centre; the English pronunciation of Blaenau Ffestiniog suggested by the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names is, but the first word is pronounced by locals. Located