Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in south Wales, part of the Brecon Beacons national park. It is formed of strongly glaciated Old Red Sandstone.
Pen Y Fan has claimed large numbers of casualties ranging from inexperienced hill walkers and climbers to highly trained special forces troops who utilise the area as part of a special forces selection training area, due to rapidly changing weather conditions. Pen Y Fan has earned the infamous title of being the most dangerous peak in Wales.
Tommy Jones Obelisk
On the route from the Storey Arms to the summit, a memorial obelisk can be seen. The obelisk commemorates a five-year-old boy who died in August 1900. The son of a Rhondda miner, Tommy lost his way near Cwm Llwch Farmhouse while visiting his grandparents, starting a twenty-nine day search which aroused nationwide concern. His body was found by a Mr and Mrs Hamer of Cast Madog near Brecon at the spot marked by the obelisk. Tommy had died from exhaustion and exposure, but how a small boy managed to climb so high remains a mystery.
The inscription on the obelisk reads, "This obelisk marks the spot where the body of Tommy Jones, aged 5, was found. He lost his way between Cwm Llwch farm and the Login on the night of August 4, 1900. After an anxious search of 29 days his remains were discovered on September 1. Erected by voluntary subscription."
The obelisk, a useful landmark in misty conditions, was paid for by the proceeds of a memorial fund started when the jurors at the boy’s inquest waived their fees.