Erected by man for some long-forgotten purpose, there are large numbers of enigmatic standing stones, stone circles and burial chambers to be found in Wales. This book provides descriptions of some of the largest, tallest and best-preserved examples that can be visited still. Many of them are remarkable feats of construction, involving hewing and transporting large blocks of stone over long distances to be erected for reasons unknown.
Chris Barber examines numerous legends, once believed to be true, that are associated with the stones. Some stones are said to uproot themselves on certain nights of the year and go for a drink or swim in a nearby river. Others are reputed to have been thrown to their sites by giants or legendary figures such as King Arthur and the Devil. Some stones bear cryptic signs such as `cup and ring marks', telling mute stories that we cannot read but which provide a link with our prehistoric ancestors. The question arises, why was so much energy devoted to erecting these megalithic monuments? It has been shown that stone circles have an astronomical significance and dowsers claim to have detected a hidden force in the stones, even experiencing violent reactions when they touch them. It is shown how quartz contained in the stones appears to cause fogging on photographs and other strange effects. Dowsers also claim that there are strange spiral powers in the stones that wax and wane according to the phases of the moon. Such forces of nature may well be attributed to electromagnetism.
This fascinating book is richly illustrated and gives location details of some of the more unusual sites, which are sometimes in remote locations, requiring map-reading skills to find them. These monuments were erected by man at a time when he must have felt part of nature and perhaps possessed forgotten knowledge that gave him a much closer relationship with the Earth. Read this book and you will feel compelled to go in search of the mysterious megaliths of Wales.
Chris Barber, MBE, FRGS, is the author of over 30 books on Wales' rich heritage. Born and raised in Newport, he has lived in Llanfoist for the last 35 years. For 20 years he was the chief countryside officer for Gwent, and established the Gwent countryside service in 1974. Chris is also the founder member and chairman of the Gwent Mountaineering Club. He was awarded an MBE in 2007 for his services to the community and tourist industry in South Wales. His other books include 'Journey to Avalon' and 'Cordell Country'.