Pentre Ifan – burial chamber

History

The tomb of Pentre Ifan was erected during the Neolithic period, around 3500 BC, as the burial place of the early agricultural community. It is possible that it was built in two stages, first a burial chamber, then a mound and an entrance façade. In the tomb no traces of bones were found, perhaps later they were moved elsewhere.

Architecture

The tomb consisted of a burial chamber, which was originally covered with a large mound of stones, in an oval shape similar to the wedge, on the south side. Its length was about 36 meters and the width was 17 meters. Larger stones marked the edges of the mound. The burial chamber was located at the southern end of the mound, which extended to the north. The entrance facade was built from carefully arranged, without the use of mortar, large stones. The capstone acting as a ceiling is over 5 meters long and weighs about 16 tons.

Current state

Until today, six vertical stones have survived from the burail chamber, three of which support the ceiling stone (capstone). From the other three, two portal stones form the entrance, and the third, at an angle, seems to block them. Little remained of the material that formed the mound, most of it was dispersed. Dolmen is currently one of the largest and best preserved in Wales. It is under protection and is maintained by the Cadw government agency (Welsh Historic Monument Agency). Admission to its area is free.

show this monument on map

return to alphabetical index

bibliography:
Website stone-circles.org.uk, Pentre Ifan Neolithic Chambered Long Barrow / Portal Dolmen.
Website wikipedia.org, Pentre Ifan.