An ancient monument has crashed to the ground after standing for more than 4,000 years as an important landmark.

The famous standing stone at Bedd Morris, on Newport mountain, was snapped over the weekend, toppling over and crushing a nearby fence.

Archaeologist Professor Geoffrey Wainwright, an expert who has worked on several sites in the Preselis, plans to play an active role in getting the stone reinstated.

He said: “It’s a tragedy, the stone has snapped and it’s a real mess.

“It’s an important landscape feature and an important archaeological site and it must be put back as soon as possible.”

He added: “Hopefully the stone should go back up and no-one will ever know the difference.

“For centuries people have gone up the top road and seen the stone, which is a scheduled monument.”

It is believed the two metre high, bronze age stone was hit by a vehicle travelling on the Cwm Gwaun to Newport road.

Newport mayor Byron James was shocked by the incident and told the Western Telegraph he was looking into the matter.

The National Park Authority has arranged a meeting at the site of the stone to determine how the damage occurred happened, with the authority’s archaeologist and Cadw representatives.

An Authority spokesman said: “Bedd Morris is an impressive, very tall standing stone, well over six foot. It is a scheduled ancient monument thought to date from the bronze age. It now marks the parish boundary between Newport and Pontfaen.

“About five years ago, after a traffic collision, Cadw and the Park Authority’s archaeologist carried out successful consolidation work on Bedd Morris and it has continued to stand strong ever since.”