Cadw 'cop-out' over stone row on Betws Mountain

South Wales Guardian: EXPERT VIEW: Dr Sandy Gerrard maintains the stone row on Betws Mountain probably dates from prehistoric times. EXPERT VIEW: Dr Sandy Gerrard maintains the stone row on Betws Mountain probably dates from prehistoric times.

THE 700-metre Mynydd y Betws stone row is “most likely prehistoric,” claims the man who discovered it.

Dr Sandy Gerrard first noted the row at Bancbryn in 2011, prior to the building of Betws windfarm.

Dr Gerrard has scheduled more than 1,000 ancient monuments. But Cadw – the organisation charged with protecting Welsh historic monuments – initially dismissed his view, claiming the row was a “modern grazing boundary”.

However, correspondence received by Dr Gerrard from Cadw’s senior inspector, Kate Roberts, undermined the official line.

On December 9, 2013, Ms Roberts said: “I agree that the evidence provided does not support an interpretation as a field boundary.”

She also agreed there was no evidence to support “other interpretations” of a border or way-marked track.

When asked to clarify Ms Roberts’ comments, a Cadw spokesperson said: “Our initial assessment of the Mynydd y Betws stone row concluded there was insufficient evidence to propose scheduling the feature as a prehistoric stone row.

“Following requests to review the available evidence, Cadw re-evaluated the site last year and again found insufficient evidence to confirm the structure as being of prehistoric date.”

Dr Gerrard labelled the comment “a real cop-out”.

“Cadw are on dangerous ground suggesting there is no evidence to prove the row is prehistoric,” he said.

“By their nature, things which are prehistoric have little or no evidence. Most prehistoric stone rows have no actual evidence. They must be viewed in context.

“On Mynydd y Betws, a stone row leads directly to a cairn and separates two Bronze Age cairn fields.

“I’m not saying it is definitely prehistoric, only that it is most likely to be prehistoric and that makes it of national importance.”

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