This coal-field occupies practically the whole of Glamorgan and part of Monmouth, and its surface slopes from the Black Mountain and Brecon Beacons to the sea as a gently inclined plateau, scored by deep valleys draining south.
Watch-towers with wooden clappers and the beacons which flashed the alarm along the whole frontier in a few hours are still features in the landscape.
Cressets used to be kept burning at night on some of the campanili to serve as beacons for those at sea.
Disraeli (Beacons field).
Capture begins among the lower tribes with the hand, without devices, developing knack and skill in seizing, pursuing, climbing, swimming, and maiming without weapons; and proceeds to gathering with devices that take the place of the hand in dipping, digging, hooking and grasping; weapons for striking, whether clubs, missiles or projectiles; edged weapons of capture, which were rare in America; piercing devices for capture, in lances, barbed spears, harpoons and arrows; traps for enclosing, arresting and killing, such as pens, cages, pits, pen-falls, nets, hooks, nooses, clutches, adhesives, deadfalls, impalers, knife traps and poisons; animals consciously and unconsciously aiding in capture; fire in the form of torches, beacons, burning out and smoking out; poisons and asphyxiators; the accessories to hunting, including such changes in food, dress, shelter, travelling, packing, mechanical tools and intellectual apparatus as demanded by these arts.
His diligent investigations into the efficiency of various illuminants in differing circumstances, and into the best conditions for developing their several maximum powers of brilliancy, while greatly improving the usefulness of the line of beacons along the extensive coast of the United States, effected at the same time a great economy of administration.
The Brecon Beacons of Old Red Sandstone are the highest (2907 ft.), but the Black Mountain bears a number of picturesque summits carved out of Millstone Grit and Carboniferous Limestone, which rise frequently over 2000 ft.
In our most trivial walks, we are constantly, though unconsciously, steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and headlands, and if we go beyond our usual course we still carry in our minds the bearing of some neighboring cape; and not till we are completely lost, or turned round--for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost--do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.
The town commands a magnificent view of the Brecknock Beacons, and is noted for its promenades on the banks of the Usk, and in the priory groves.
It is true that at all times churches have been put to secular uses; in periods of unrest, as among the Nestorian Christians now, they were sometimes built to serve at need as fortresses; their towers were used for beacons, their naves for meetings on secular affairs.
Their highest summit north of the Usk, on the eastern side, where they are known as the Black Mountains, or sometimes the Black Forest Mountains, is Pen y Gader (2624 ft.) between Talgarth and Llanthony, and on the south-west the twin peaks of the Mynydd Du ("Black Mountain") or the so-called Carmarthenshire Vans or Beacons, only the higher of which, Fan Brycheiniog (2632 ft.), is, however, in Breconshire; while the centre of the crescent is occupied by the masses of the Brecknockshire Beacons or Vans (often called the Beacons simply), the highest point of which, Pen y Fan, formerly also known as Cadair Arthur, or Arthur's Chair, attains an altitude of 2910 ft.
The Usk rises in the Carmarthenshire Van on the west, and flowing in a direction nearly due east through the centre of the county, collects the water from the range of the Beacons in the south, and from the Eppynt range in the north by means of numerous smaller streams, of which the Tarell and the Honddu (which join it at Brecon) are the most important, and it enters Monmouthshire near Abergavenny.
The three combined ranges of the Black Mountains, the Brecknock Beacons and the Black Forest sweep across south Brecon from W.
The Taff (40 m.), rising amongst the Brecon Beacons, enters the Bristol Channel at Cardiff.