Of Kids and Ancient Stones

D sits on a handy rock and surveys Arthur’s Stone.

We’re just back from a trip to see Grandma in Wales. While we were there, we took time out to visit Arthur’s Stone, or Maen Ceti, a Neolithic burial tomb dating back to 2500 B.C.. It’s on the beautiful and atmospheric Gower Peninsula. Although the last henge A and D saw was Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege (a life-sized, bouncy Stonehenge), they’re also keen on the more sedate, hewn-from-the-living-rock versions scattered across the countryside. As are most kids.

Why?

  1. They’re usually in wild countryside, so there’s loads of space to run around.
  2. They’re normally free to get in.
  3. They’ve got some great stories attached to them. Arthur’s Stone was meant to have been split in half by St. David, furious that the Welsh druids were worshipping there.
  4. They’re bloody huge and awe inspiring. And sometimes have underground bits to explore.

Obviously, at not-quite-two, A and D were more excited by the whipping wind and huge skies above the stones. But what a great day out. Julian Cope’s The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain is a brilliantly idiosyncratic guide to the best megaliths and monuments this country has to offer, and is a fine place to start.

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