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This is the forty-fourth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. The cache, in a medium size plastic lunch box, is close to a vantage point for views into the Darran Valley and gives the opportunity to visit a burnt mound and a house platform. Expect a walk of about a mile, mainly on moorland paths or tracks, with 100’ of gentle ascent. The route may be boggy in parts in wet conditions.
The Caerphilly Collection is distinguished with a unique CC number and is made up of 50 caches. The caches vary in difficulty and type and usually have other “C” word connections – castle, cheese, coal, canal, etc. There may even be Cryptic Clues for Clever Clogs! The current Caerphilly unitary authority grew out of the former Rhymney Valley and Islwyn Councils and stretches from the outskirts of Cardiff and Newport in the south to the Brecon Beacons, north of Rhymney. Despite a past dominated by coal and heavy industry, it has a diverse history and varied and dramatic scenery. We hope you will enjoy exploring it with us.
Towards the end of the Collection is CC48 The Accumulator, the location of which is given in coded form. The translation details of the code are distributed around the whole Collection, but only about a third of the caches will contain a piece of the code, which is on the back of the Log Book. To do the Accumulator, you will need to keep a note of each piece of code that you find. Unless you are very lucky, you will need to find the majority of the Collection in order to do the Accumulator. The Accumulator cache is hidden in an area of difficult terrain and demanding navigation, with a 5,4½ rating.
Parking is available at N 51 42.744 W 003 17.288 and it is suggested that you use a dogleg route to take advantage of paths and tracks, passing conveniently close (another CC!) to a burnt mound (at N 51 42.947 W 003 17.054) and some house platforms (one at N 51 42.978 W 003 16.924). If you haven’t seen these before, do not expect anything too exciting. But please respect the sites – they are scheduled ancient monuments. The burnt mound here is the first that we have identified with confidence, being a fairly typical crescent-shaped heap. The mound consists of burned stone and charcoal (CC possibly also standing for charcoal crescent), the product of heating large quantities of stone, generally thought to have been used to heat water. The precise purpose is conjectural, ranging from cooking food to making sweat lodges … the Bronze Age sauna!
The platforms are the sites of houses built about 1500 years ago. Typically, they are sited on a hillside, one end cut into the hill and the spoil used to build up the other end, creating a floor area that slopes slightly. The houses had stone walls and a thatched or turf roof supported on timber posts and the walls. They would have housed both people and animals, with humans at the higher end, benefiting from the heat generated by the animals in winter, but not suffering the inconvenience of their effluent, which would be draining in the opposite direction. And CC might also stand for an unexpected sight from Twyn y Fidffawydd – coach collection!
If you fancy exploring more of the antiquities on Gelligaer and Merthyr Common, this cache could be linked with MM9 which is not far away.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum