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The stone alignment at Saith Maen stands on moorland above Craig-y-nos in Powys at SN83311540. The row includes a line of seven slabs (two of which are recumbent) extending for a total length of 13.7m. There is nothing else quite like it in Wales. Compared with all of the others the stones are set very close together and indeed for the closest parallels one must look west to Ireland where several well-known examples exist.This alignment also lacks a prehistoric context as there are no cairns or similar features in the immediate vicinity. Finally the stones are relatively unweathered compared with others in the area.

These warning signs could be seen as an indication that all is not as it appears. No conclusive evidence exists to support a prehistoric date but it is accepted as prehistoric because well it looks right and no alternative explanations have been forthcoming. Interestingly when Cadw were asked for alternative explanations for the Bancbryn alignment they responded “I am not minded to express an opinion on the most likely interpretation given the limited nature of the evidence.”  A curious response given that there is plenty of evidence to support a prehistoric date for Bancbryn whilst none exists for Saith Maen and its documented use as a sheepfold should perhaps sound warning bells!

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A line of closely set stones in spectacular surroundings. No positive evidence currently exists to support a prehistoric date beyond the fact that it looks like some rows in Ireland.

A line of closely set stones in spectacular surroundings. No positive evidence currently exists to support a prehistoric date beyond the fact that it looks like some rows in Ireland.

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