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Chambered Cairn


The alignment of the chamber at Barclodiad-y-Gawres has been puzzling me lately. The Irish passage graves - of which this is surely one - were sometimes aligned on the sun. Newgrange is the classic example, aligned on the midwinter sunrise.

The orientation of the passage at Barclodiad-y-Gawres is just about due north, as measured with a compass, which means that it cannot be aligned on any movement of the sun.

It is, however, aligned on a pair of low hills in the distance - Mynydd y Garn and Mynydd Mechell. The standing stones of Llanfechell lie at the foot of the latter.

The horizon on this part of Anglesey is remarkably flat and level, so these hills do stand out on a clear day. The obvious feature of the horizon is the great lump of Holyhead Mountain, but the passage points instead to the two smaller hills. I've attached a photograph of these from the passage.

Was this a deliberate alignment? Were these sacred hills? I don't know. Go there on a clear day, sit in the clear air of Anglesey, soak up the view and see what you think.
Dunstan Posted by Dunstan
16th March 2008ce
Edited 16th March 2008ce

Comments (3)

Hello D, did you note just how close to north ?
tiompan Posted by tiompan
16th March 2008ce
Pretty much due north, as far as I can make it with a sighting compass. I couldn't swear to absolute accuracy, as the passage is not perfectly defined, but I'd say five degrees either way as I measured it. Interestingly, the CADW plan has it west of north, but earlier accounts agree with me.

Hope this helps

Dunstan Posted by Dunstan
16th March 2008ce

Thanks , so many archaeo surveys have a poor northing you don't know which ones to trust .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
17th March 2008ce
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