Din Dryfol – burial chamber


   Din Dryfol is a remnant of a passage tomb, the construction of which began around 5,000 years ago. It served the people of the Neolithic period for the common burial of the dead. During this period, the gradual transition of society from gathering and hunting to more settled agricultural life influenced the development of a sense of territoriality and the right to inheritance, and thus a desire to pay tribute to ancestors. A visible manifestation of this aspiration could be monumental tombs, also used to carry out religious ceremonies in their vicinity. Used for many centuries, it was possible that they were family tombs or belonging to specific tribes.


   The tomb was situated on a flat terrace of a small hill, flanked on one side by the slopes and on the other by a rocky ridge running parallel to it. Din Dryfol was orientated on the north-east, south-west line. It was created in three different phases. The first chamber was built of side stones and a capstone, forming a rectangular room measuring 3 by 1 meter and about 2 meters high. The stone covering the chamber was 3 meters long and 1.5 meters wide. The second chamber was built to the northeast of the first and the third to the northeast of the second. It was about 5 meters long. When the construction was completed, the entire structure consisted of three connected chambers in the form of a long gallery. The whole was covered with a mound of earth or rubble, probably originally small and round over the first chamber, but much longer and wider when all three chambers were built. Archaeological research suggests that the mound stretched for about 65 meters and was about 15 meters wide. Excavations also revealed fragments of ceramics and cremation sites.

Current state

   The construction of the first, oldest burial chamber can be partially seen until today, but its capstone has fallen aside and lies on the ground. The second chamber has not been preserved, however, two holes indicate where an unusual timber portal or other structure stood. From the third chamber you can see only fragments in the form of a large stone, 3 meters high vertically, and a fragment of another stone located at a distance. As you can see in the photos, the earth mound has not been preserved either.

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Castleden R., Neolithic Britain: New Stone Age sites of England, Scotland and Wales, London 1992.
The Royal Commission on The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions in Wales and Monmouthshire. An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Anglesey, London 1937.

Website archwilio.org.uk, Din Dryfol Burial Chamber, Cerrigceinwen.