The Preseli Mountains (or Prescelly or Preselau) are a range of mountains in Wales that are in the western part of the UK and form part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The National Park was established in 1952, and is the only one in the UK to have been designated primarily because of its spectacular coastline. The Preseli Mountains are one of only two inland areas within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the other being around the upper reaches of the Daugleddau river estuary. The Preseli area of Pembrokeshire is a rural, mountainous and Welsh speaking part of Wales.
The principal towns and villages within Preseli include Crymych, Boncath, Blaenffos, Eglwyswrw, Ffynnon Groes, Llanfyrnach, Maenclochog, Mynachlog Ddu, Rhos y Bwlch and Tegryn. FelinFach is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath and makes Welsh blankets and throws, cushions and other soft furnishings. On the coast, the nearest town is Trefdraeth or Newport.
The mountains rise to 1758 feet above sea level at the highest point, namely Foel Cwmcerwyn. For some, there is no accepted standard definition for the height of a mountain or a hill, although 1,000 feet is sometimes used as the point where a hill becomes a mountain. This highest point at 1758 feet provides exceptional panoramic views to the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, Eryri (Snowdonia) and the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) in Wales and the Bristol Channel and West Country in England.
The hills have a long history of human habitation and activity. They are liberally dotted with evidence of this past, including many prehistoric remains fashioned in earth or stone. The hills were an important source of slate for a very long time and were extensively quarried. Slate is no longer big business in the Preseli Hills but remnants of the quarries can still be seen at Rhos y Bwlch in Pembrokeshire.
There are many notable ancient features. Bedd Arthur, or Arthur's Grave, is an ancient earthworks site sitting on top of the Preseli ridge overlooking the rocky outcrop of Carn Menyn. The rocky hill top has been long suggested as a possible source for some of the bluestones found at Stonehenge. The name Carn Menyn means 'Butter Rock'. Bedd Arthur is one of many sites in the region associated with the legendary King Arthur. Another is Carreg Coetan Arthur, a neolithic dolmen found near Trefdraeth (Newport) in North Pembrokeshire. The hill fort, and the ongoing excavations there has been used as the location for an exercise in reconstruction archaeology, including experiments in prehistoric farming. Four roundhouses and a granary have been built back onto their original Iron Age foundations. Judging by the huge abundance of relics that remain - Neolithic burial chambers, Bronze Age cairns, stone circles, standing stones and Iron Age forts - these hills were well populated by Prehistoric man. The bluestones that make up much of the inner circle of Stonehenge are made from spotted dolerite. The only known place in Britain where this rock can be found is in the Preseli Mountains. If they came from the Preseli, how were they transported 180 miles from Preseli to Salisbury Plain? To date this question remains unanswered.
But the Preseli Mountains remain a stunning and beautiful area of both Pembrokeshire and Wales and we are privileged to live and work in this part of the world.