Ike goes hunting for bluestone in the Preseli Hills

Today the weather finally cleared up so Ike could go up the Preseli Hills and look for the origins of the Stonehenge bluestones.

Ike à la recherche de Bluestone. Aujourd’hui, le temps s’éclaircissait enfin pour qu’Ike puisse remonter les collines de Preseli pour chercher les origines des pierres bleues de Stonehenge.

Ike auf der Suche nach Bluestone. Heute lichtete sich endlich das Wetter, so dass Ike die Preseli Hügel wieder besuchen konnte, um nach den Ursprüngen der Stonehenge blauen Steinen zu suchen.

Translation by Sharon Williams at Languages For Living.

Carn Menyn

The legendary bluestones of Stonehenge come from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. According to the latest thinking they were transported over land to Stonehenge 150miles away.  It was originally believed that the dolerite stones came from the quarry at Carn Menyn, however it is also suggested that the stones came from Carn Goedog 1.5km to the northwest.   This part of the Preseli Hills has numerous outcrops of the famous bluestones; it is clear to see the jointing in the stones and this may explain why they were chosen to be used in stone circles.  There is a wealth of articles about the bluestones out there, all worth a read. Geography Cat has linked some of the best in this page already.

Ike reclining in the Carn Menyn bluestone outcrop

The hills themselves were formed by a volcanic intrusion during the Ordovician. Subsequent erosion has left the bluestones visible at certain points on the ridge. You will notice the word “carn” on the maps, this means ‘pile of stones’, but the stones haven’t been dropped there, they are natural outcrops, appearing as weathering and erosion reveal them over time.

This image is from Discovering Britain, a fascinating and useful resource for anyone interested in finding out more.
Ike looking towards Carn Ingli and the sea. On a clearer day he would be able to see Ireland from here. 
At Carn Goedog Ike spotted what he thought to be a peregrine falcon.

The Preseli Hills are home to some rare species and are protected as part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Geography Cat has received the following postcards of Stonehenge (which we marked on the map for this blog with a black square):

from Mike

And Geography Cat stayed up late, and got up early to watch the live stream of the sunset and sunrise over Stonehenge this Midsummer, hosted by English Heritage:

20th June 2020 2155hrs
21st June 2020 0438hrs