Pen Y Beacon Stone Circle
Pen Y Beacon Stone Circle
Four stones are all that remain here. One standing stone hovers over two that lie level with the ground, while another protrudes slightly above the surface.
The stones are beside a car park on the minor road between Llanthony and Hay-on-Wye. The ground falls away on two sides, so the views on a clear day are stunning.

Though the stone setting is marked on OS maps as a circle, it was originally thought to be a burial chamber. The single large upright stands 1.5 metres high and over a metre wide. If it forms part of a circle, the two recumbent stones suggest a circumference around 30 metres.

At the opposite extreme of the circle is a grouping of 4 more stones. There is what seems to be an entrance opening in the south-east section, with portal stones on either side of the opening. The use of portal stones is rare in this part of Wales.


I remember two main things about visiting Pen Y Beacon. The first was that our visit was a complete accident. I was driving from Hay to Llanthony Priory with my son, when I spied a standing stone by the side of the road. I uttered an exclamation along the lines of 'Hey! What's that?', and pulled over in the convenient parking area. I quickly discovered what 'that' was. The other thing I remember was the simply stunning setting. The land falls away to the north and west, and the views deeper into Wales are simply staggering. What a location!

It won't take long to explore the stones, even if you are passionate about stone circles, but that's more than made up for by the superb setting.