Sweyne’s How ~ the tomb of the man who gave Swansea its name

There are many hidden treasures and lost history, dotted amid bracken and heather and in valleys where no one but wild ponies venture. I found this one, supposedly the tomb of the ancient founder of the city of Swansea, lichened and mellow in Welsh sunshine, with the aid of an OS map and a husband with an unerring sense of direction. I rode past it on horseback a few days later and tipped my hat to that long gone warrior, and smiled at the ephemeral nature of fame. Apart from his name, almost nothing is known of Sweyne, and his tomb, once a fine mound, is nothing but a pile of boulders at the end of the Gower peninsula.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Light and Dark

I have been wanting to put a photo up of this stone for ages. I found it some years ago, on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, in a tiny little cove known as Ram’s Grove. It’s coincidentally pretty close to the cave where the burial of a Neanderthal body took place, the so-called Red Lady of Paviland(it was actually a man!) It’s one of the oldest known human burials, where ritual took place using red ochre and flowering plants.

The time I found this stone, we were camping  a few miles away and had slipped down at the end of the day for a paddle. The tide was coming in quite fast and my husband spotted a large boulder with the very clear sign on it, of a white image embedded in black rock. I managed a quick and rather fuzzy picture of it before the tide covered it. I was very taken with it as it was an almost perfect natural yin-yang sign, but it was a massive boulder, embedded deeply among other rocks. I prayed out loud, that I might find a similar stone that I could take home with me and when I finished those words, I glanced down and by my feet was the stone above. I nearly fell over. I was shocked. So seldom are prayers answered THAT fast, after all.

I’ve kept it close ever since as a talisman and as a reminder that in light there is always dark and in dark there is always light, and also that just sometimes, you do get what you ask for in life, that prayer does work and finally, that God has a rather whimsical sense of humour.