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Tarren Deusant translates as "rock of the two saints" and is in quiet country in the middle of the triangle formed by Pontypridd, Beddau and Tonyrefail. You will need a map and to know how to use it to get to the site using public footpaths that are not always obvious on the ground or accurately delineated on the OS map. The cache, a medium sized plastic container, is 10-20 minutes from the road, depending on the route chosen to get to it.
Tarren Deusant is considered to be a pagan cult site dating from the Iron Age. At least eight faces are carved into the rock around an embedded boulder, which has been described as tear or phallus shaped. One of the carvings appears to be a human head and torso with a fish-like tail i.e. a mermaid. The carvings are near a spring which spouts from the rock face and the cult is thought to have worshipped water.
The site is in a steep-sided and wooded valley and the feeling of ancient ritual is strong. Perhaps spookier are the remains of tealights and candlewax around the carvings, evidence that the site continues to be used today. One visitor reports photographing the tear stone only to find later that the image had taken on the appearance of a startled hare.
We are grateful to bigpinkmuffin for the following additional information:
'Darren Ddeusant' (as it was originally called) was a weird sanctuary for the Druids in the open air. However, on Whitsun Monday (7th June 1965) a pilgrimage took place, led by the vicars of Llantrisant and Llantwit Fardre. The party walked across the fields to the altar stone where it was inspected and a short service was held. The vicar of Llantwit Fardre read the story of Pentecost and the party of pilgrims sang "The Lord is My Shepherd" to the tune of Crimond. The proceedings were recorded by BBC Wales television who screened an edited version of the ceremony the same evening. A parchment, which was presented to Lieutenant-Colonel Traherne to commemorate the occasion, said:
"To the Lieutenant-Colonel J.R.L Traherne of Castellau Fawr, we bring greetings. And we request that you will conduct these pilgrims to Darren Ddeusant, where it is commonly believed the Saints of old did preach the Gospel from the ancient preaching stone, and where our forefathers were accustomed to assemble for the praise and worship of Almighty God. Furthermore, we present you with this document dated the 7th June, A.D. 1965 for your safe keeping as a commemoration of this event."
Small disturbances pockmark the woodland, presumably old workings of coal outcrops or ironstone mining. Even with the trees bare, we could not get a better position accuracy than 9 metres in the valley. In the summer, reception will be worse and the difficulty rating should perhaps be increased by 1. Parking is difficult in the nearest narrow lane with generally soft verges, but we found a firm wide verge at N51 34.524 W003 22.186. This area is obviously little visited and one 50m stretch of the apparent shortest route to the cache may be overgrown by bracken in the spring and summer. The two public footpaths that approach from the south actually converge at N51 34.365 W003 22.122, where there is a gate between the field and valley woodland. One of the small rocks hiding the cache container has a fragment of tree fossil on it. The rock carvings are directly above the cache location, about 15m up quite a steep slope.
As this is a little visited very often, please do not leave any travel items. Thank you.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum