Y Meini, Llanychiairn, Cardiganshire

Pair of standing stones at Meini Farm (now called Ffrŵd), near Moel Ifor, Parish of Llanychiairn, Cardiganshire / Ceredigion SN 5605 7350

A pair of standing stones were recorded by a number of early tourists in a field to the west of the main Aberystwyth to Llanrhystud road, 200 yards west of the 6th milestone south of Aberystwyth. Several thought that they were Druidical structures, a term often applied by early antiquaries to prehistoric chambered tombs.
The farm on which they stood was called Y Meini meaning ‘stones’ a term often applied to standing stones and stone circles. The house there is still called Y Meini.
The stones were broken up c. 1830 for gateposts etc.

Summary (details below)
Supposed Druidical sepulchral monuments
11ft high x 5ft 6 ins breadth                                        Wyndham, 1774
1-2 yards apart

Two druidical monuments
10ft 6 ins high x 5ft 6ins                                             Malkin 1803
Other stones present

Two rude upright stones
12ft x 5ft 6 ins                                                             Evans, 1803
The other stone smaller

Two upright stones ‘The Man and his wife’
6-7ft high, 10-12 ft circumference                              Mavor, 1805
13 paces apart
Other stones present

A couple of Druidical stones
Measurements ?                                                          White, 1805

Two Druidical Monuments                                         Nicholson, 1808

Transcriptions of descriptions of the standing stones by tourists and antiquaries.
Many people walked up and down the coast road between Llanrhystud and Aberystwyth, but only the following noted the presence of the stones and some of  these are probably based on earlier publications rather than personal observation.

1719
A map based on Ogilby’s ribbon map, shows the stones

1722
Somewhat surprisingly, Edward Lhwyd did not mention the site in the 1722 edition of Camden’s Britannia and the County Historian, Samuel Meyrick did not mention them either, but says elsewhere:
Every tourist into Cardiganshire has mentioned Lêch yr Ast, Lêch y gawres, Meini hirion, and Meini cyvirol, as still existing, though they have been destroyed many years ago. These and innumerable falsities and inattentions, constitute tours in Wales, and show how little they are to be depended on.
Meyrick, S., The History and Antiquities of the County of Cardigan, (1808), p. 298, Meyrick, S., The History and Antiquities of the County of Cardigan, (1907), p. 265
The sites listed by Meyrick were described by Edward Llwyd in the 1722 edition of Camden’s Britannia under Cardiganshire.
Camden, William, Britannia: or a chorographical description of Great Britain and Ireland, together with the adjacent islands. Written in Latin by William Camden, … and translated into English, with additions and improvements. The second edition. Revised, digested, and published, with large additions, by Edmund Gibson, … (London, 1722), pp. 772-773
Briggs, C.S., ‘Historical Notes on the Study of Megalithic and Bronze Age Sites and finds from Ceredigion’, Ceredigion, vol. 9, (1982), p. 266

1774
About 200 yards on the left hand of the road, and two miles beyond Llanrhystud are two supposed Druidical sepulchral monuments; they are upright single stones and one of them, when perfect, measured eleven feet in height above the ground and five feet six inched in breadth.
Wyndham, Henry Penruddocke, (1736-1819)
A Gentleman’s Tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, made in the months of June and July, 1774, 1st Edition, (Anon), (London, 1775), p. 103

1774
At a little distance on the left hand of the road, and about two miles beyond Llanrhystud, are two supposed druidical sepulchres; they are upright single stones; one of them, when perfect, measured 11 feet in height above the ground, and 5 feet 6 inches in breadth.
Wyndham, Henry Penruddocke. A gentleman’s tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in the months of June and July, 1774 and in the months of June, July and August, 1777, Second edition, E Easton, Salisbury, 1781, p. 89

1795
Near Llanrhystud are some remarkable sepulchral monuments. [No more information]
Baker, J., A Picturesque Guide through Wales and the Marches; interspersed with the most interesting subjects of antiquity in that principality.
1st edition, (1791-1797) (1794 for Cardiganshire?)
2nd edition with considerable alterations and additions [and plates] and mentions Cumberland (An Attempt to describe Hafod, 1795), and assistance with Welsh place names, (1795), p. 200

1803
Near Llanrhystud, on the right hand of the road are two druidical monuments, consisting at present of single stones, standing upright, about 10 ½ x 5 ½ feet. They are placed within a yard or two of each other. There are many other stones lying about, and it is supposed to have been an altar, but the circle is by no means to be made out. A neat church, backed by romantic hills, animated the village of Llanrhystud standing on the banks of the little river Wyren, near where it passes into the sea. …
Malkin, B.H., (1769-1842)
The Scenery, Antiquities, and Biography of South Wales from materials collected during two excursions in the year 1803. Embellished with views drawn on the spot and engraved by Laporte and a map of the county. (London: 1804), p. 400
Included, without acknowledgement, in Stringer, Dr., Welsh Excursions Through the Greater Part of South and North Wales, On the Plan of Irish Extracts and Scottish Descriptions. The European Magazine and London Review, Vol. 78, (1820), p. 218

1803
About two miles from this village [Llanrhystud, travelling north] we observed two rude upright stones one of the twelve feet high and five feet and a half in breadth at the lower end and the other little inferior in size and height.
Evans, John, Rev., Letters written during a Tour through South Wales in the year 1803 and at other times … (London, 1804), p. 355

1805
The ascent from Llanrhystud is long and circuitous and we were nearly an hour before we reached the highest pitch of the road, near which, on the left, we made a digression to see two upright stones called by the country people “The Man and his wife”. They are between six and seven feet in height above the surface of the ground and between ten and twelve feet in circumference, and standing at a distance of thirteen paces from each other. Two other stones of inferior dimensions lie near them, which have probably been thrown from this perpendicular position. The whole group is evidently Druidical; and though the situation is elevated, they stand in a little hollow of the hill, which excludes every view from the spot, except towards the east.
Mavor, William Fordyce, (1758-1837), A tour in Wales, and through several counties of England: including both the universities ; performed in the summer of 1805, (London : 1806), pp. 54-55

1805
My friend’s books intimating somewhat of a couple of Druidical stones three miles beyond Llanrhystud, we were constantly on the lookout. I had the extreme good fortune first to descry them to the left of the road and luckily for me, but a few paces from it – these stones, it is well known, never bear any inscription. The antiquary should therefore always carry a three foot rule … in his pocket to take their accurate dimensions …
White, James, Picturesque Excursion into South Wales,
British Library Add MSS 44991, pp. 84-85

1808
Near Moel Ifor on the right hand of the road are two Druidical monuments.
Nicholson, Emilius, Cambrian Traveller’s Guide and pocket companion…, 1808, column 17; 2nd edition, 1813;  3rd edition based on his father’s ‘The Cambrian traveller’s guide’ 1808 and 1813, 1840, p. 30

1820s
Not marked on first OS map.
Ordnance Survey draft drawing at a scale of 2 inches = 1 mile for the 1 inch = 1 mile map (published 1830s).

1840s
Farm name Meini
Plot 680 Bank y Meiny
Tythe map, Llanychaearn (Llanychaiarn)

1858
{Quotes from Wyndham, Malkin and Evans (1804)}
They stood on the land of Meini, in the parish of Llanychairn. About thirty years ago the stones were subverted and broken up, and converted to building and fencing purposes. One of them made either nine or eleven posts. Some gate posts and corner stones about the house and yard look very like splints from larger masses, being of grey mountain stone. One large stone of irregular shape near a fence is probably part of the druidic structure, but of the structure itself the farm preserves only the name, – stat nominis umbra.
Anon (Local secretary), Archaeological Notes and Querries, Archaeologica  Cambrensis, (1858), p. 319

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Dolmen (destroyed)
RCAHMW Cardiganshire, SN57 SE notes, quoting the references in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1858.
Sansbury, A. R., (1932), The Megalithic Monuments of Cardiganshire, Unpublished B.A. Thesis, Dept. Geography, U.C.W., Aberystwyth, No. 56
Daniel, Glyn E., The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales, (1950), p. 216, Cardiganshire No. 4 based on Archaeologia Cambrensis article (1858)
Briggs, C.S., ‘Historical Notes on the Study of Megalithic and Bronze Age Sites and finds from Ceredigion’, Ceredigion, vol. 9, (1982), p. 266
Briggs, C.S., (1994), The Bronze Age in Davies, J.L., and Kirby, D.P., Cardiganshire County History, p. 210, appendix III, no 60 (very brief listing).