The Shadow of the Preselis

The trackways along the spine of the Preseli hills have been used by travellers, traders, invading warriors and pilgrims ever since, around 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, early farmers began to cultivate and pasture beasts on these upland soils. Along these tracks the spotted dolerite – ‘bluestone’ – was transported from Garn Meini to build Stonehenge. Because of their command over the Preseli chain and adjacent upland strongholds the leaders of the Iron Age and the early Christian settlers were able to establish some control and influence in the region.

This part of Pembrokeshire is rich in history, archaeology and legend. Across this landscape King Arthur pursued Twrch Trwyth in the story of Culhwch and Olwen. Here, the cult of St Teilo continued centuries after his death, as his skull was used to draw up healing waters for the sick. To this area St Brynachh fled from persecution to establish his ministry and, during the Middle Ages, Preseli was a battleground in the conflict between the Welsh princes and the Normans.