Tinkinswood – burial chamber


   Tinkinswood’s tomb also called Castell Carreg, Llech-y-Filiast or Maes-y-Filiast was built during the Neolithic period around 4000 BC. It was a collective burial place of the early-agricultural community. During the archaeological work in 1914, more than 920 human bones were discovered inside the burial chamber, or about 40-50 people of all ages and genders. The bodies were probably exposed to weather conditions before being transferred to the burial chamber, which may suggest some form of rituals before the burial. Elements of ceramics from the Neolithic period and from the later Beaker culture were also found, which indicates that the tomb was probably used by the community for a long time, perhaps until the early Bronze Age around 2000-1500 B.C.


   The burial chamber had a trapezoidal shape in the plan (5×3.5 meters) and consisted of smaller stones arranged vertically and of a large capstone at the top, which served as the ceiling. It weighs about 40 tons and measures 7.3 x 4.3 meters, it is considered the largest in the United Kingdom. Originally, the chamber was completely covered with earth, creating an elongated shape ended with a wedge form. Over time, most of the earth has been dispersed. The small mound that remains today is about 40 x 18 meters.
   In the northern part of the tomb, more or less in its central part (about 2 meters from the external facade) a box-shaped burial (cist) was placed, formed from the lining of narrow stones in the shape of a square with a side of about 2.9 meters. It may have been an earlier or later from the main tomb, but it is difficult to determine because of the lack of any remains inside.

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Castleden R., Neolithic Britain: New Stone Age sites of England, Scotland and Wales, London 1992.
Website stonepages.com, Tinkinswood.