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ddeiniol Vab, in which the monument stands (see History of the Island of Mona, p. 221), says, “ At Bryncelli are some traces of large carneddau, where two upright stones are still standing.” But her not mentioning the chamber and gallery, the account of which by Pennant must have been known to her, would tend to show that she merely obtained her information from Rowlands, and had forgotten Pennant's description. Her History of Mona was printed in 1832. Pugh, in his Cambria Depicta, published in 1816, appears to have visited the chamber, but does little more than repeat what Pennant had previously stated.
The statement, as given by him (vol. ii, p. 272, ed. 1784), is as follows: “A few years ago, beneath a carnedd similar to that at Tregarnedd, was discovered, on a farm called Bryncelli-ddu, a passage 3 ft. wide, 4 ft. 2 or 3 ins. high, and about 194 ft. long, which led into a room about 3 ft. in diameter and 7 ft. in height. The form was an irregular hexagon, and the sides were composed of six rude slabs, one of which measured in its diameter 8 ft. 9 ins. In the middle was an artless pillar of stone, 4 ft. 8 ins. in circumference. This supports the roof, which consists of one great stone near 10 ft. in diameter. Along the sides of the room, if I may be allowed the expression, was a stone bench, on which were found human bones, which fell to dust almost at a touch.” Such is the statement; but unfortunately it is not certain that Pennant speaks of having seen what he decribes. He did visit Tregarnedd, in Llangefni parish ; and his account of the chambered mound, which gave its name to the farm, seems to have led him to mention the somewhat similar chamber at Bryncelli-ddu. He may, however, have seen it on some former occasion ; but whether this is the fact or not, it may be assumed with some degree of certainty that he would not have thus minutely described the chamber if he had not assured himself of the correctness of the information which had been given him.
This propping the capstone is very remarkable; but
another example of such supplemental support may be seen in the great cromlech at Plasnewydd, the enormous capstone of which seems to have made it necessary to place an additional supporter at an angle so as to meet the outward thrust. This, however, must have been done before the chamber was covered up by its mound; whereas in the case of the Bryncelli-ddu chamber, there is no reason why the pillar might not have been introduced after the entire completion of the monument, carn and all. Capt. Lukis states that there is a second pillarstone at the eastern end of the gallery, which, strange to say, seems not to have been noticed by other observers; not even by the author of the excellent account given in the Arch. Camb., before mentioned ; and is certainly not there at present. It is evident that, to whatever use the pillar in the chamber was applied, that in the gallery must also have been put to the same; but what that use was, is doubtful, according to the opinion of Capt. Lukis, who has kindly placed at the service of the Association his notes on the subject:
"I have had another day at the cromlech of Yr Ogof,
“the cave”; and on the right side of the chamber, near the singular stone pillar which is within the area, I found a rude pavement of flat slabs; and immediately beneath it was a thick bed of small beach-pebbles, about 2 ft. in thickness,--at least the side-props seemed buried in it to that depth.
· During the operation I found no pottery; but a few fragments of lead, which I consider as having been thrown there accidentally; and a good deal of charcoal, a broken flint-knife, a javelin-head, and some few bits of human bones.
“I then measured the extraordinary stone-pillar, which was in a slanting direction towards the south, and I found it to be exactly 9 ft. in length, with a circumference in its thickest part (for it tapers upwards) of 14 ft. 10 ins. This leaning pillar bore evidence of its having been disturbed at the base, on the southern side; but I do not conceive that when in its proper upright
position, it could have touched the under surface of the covering stones.
“ In reasoning on the singularity of this pillar within the principal chamber, so very unlike the other props of construction around the place, it cannot be considered to be for the purpose assigned to stone-pillars, as supports, which are sometimes found in other cromlechs. In the structure of Dehus, in the island of Guernsey, the rude pillar beneath the second capstone was evidently placed therein to support a flaw or crack which was found to endanger that covering stone. Again, in the cromlech at Carnac, in Brittany, the capstone was found to be too short, and it became necessary to support it by an additional side-prop. Other cases might be adduced where internal supports have been placed ; but in all these instances the intention and the reasoning of the cromlech-builders are clear and evident. All these supports are equally rude, unwrought props for a necessary purpose.
“At Yr Ogof we find a pillar with a regular abraded surface, almost polished in some parts, and gradually reduced upwards. The character of this pillar is so different from those on record, that we are forced to assign some other reason for its introduction into the main chamber.
“ In the accompanying plan of the structure it will be seen that another abraded pillar stands at the eastern end of the avenue covered way. It is more rude and irregular than that in the chamber; and it stands near a small side-cist, which appears to be an addition to the chief cromlech. The character of these two pillars must be considered as having a design entirely different from those we have discovered in other cromlechs.
“ To enter largely into the religions which prevailed over the world in the infancy of man, would lead us to a lengthy chapter far beyond the limits of this Journal ; but we cannot avoid being struck by the strong religious feelings which the cromlech-builders possessed in contriving these strongholds for the security of their dead
bodies. I can only say that the pillars at Yr Ogof assimilate greatly with the styles of the Hindoo, although there may be some deeper meaning in placing them within the chamber of the dead."
Then follows a sketch of an altar erected to Siva or Mahades, which was found in a grove not far from Allabahad, on which were placed five stone celts (now in the possession of Capt. Lukis); and as those implements are so frequently found in our own cromlechs and cists, he thinks there may be some connexion of Eastern metaphysical speculations with those which may at one time have prevailed in our country. The altar is rectangular, built up of square stones surmounted by a thin slab, from the centre of which rises a short stilus against which leant the five celts, although only three of them still retained that position at the time of the visit.
Now, although any opinion on cromlech questions emanating from a member of the Lukis family will be received with due consideration and respect, yet serious objections to his views as regards the present case will at once suggest themselves to most minds, as they have probably occurred to him himself. The principal reasons given by Captain Lukis, that these pillar stones were not intended for props, are, that the other arrangements for giving additional support which have come under his cognizance elsewhere are totally dissimilar, that these pillars have been curiously abraded and almost polished, and lastly, that the one in the chamber is too short to have reached the under surface of the capstone. The last of these objections is easily removed; for even supposing that the level of the floor is the original one, yet it would be more easy to fix by means of wedges a prop which is rather shorter than the space between the ceiling and the floor. The same thing is done every day, when it is necessary to give the same kind of support to the beam which supports the upper part of the wall of a house while the lower part is being removed. The props are more