The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Bedd y Gwr Hir


Nearest Town:Blaenavon (4km SSE)
OS Ref (GB):   SO246133 / Sheet: 161
Latitude:51° 48' 45.85" N
Longitude:   3° 5' 37.96" W

Added by Rhiannon

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Near the boundary line, between this parish and Monmouthshire, is a small tumulus, like those over graves in country church-yards, with a stone at each end, without any inscription, called Bedd y gwr hir, the giant or tall man's grave, but who the hero here interred was, or at what period his death happened is not known; the legends and tradition of the country inform us that a person of very extraordinary stature, above ten feet high, a chieftain of Blaenau Gwent, having been slain in the valley, was brought thus far by his friends, who were desirous of burying him honourably on his own demesne, but that a sudden fall of snow in the night, prevented their further progress, and compelled them to desposit the corpse here.

Part of the old road from Abergavenny to Llandilo Crescenny, about half a mile from the town, is called Cefn beddagor, corruptly from Cefn y bedd y gwr, or gwr hir, or the ridge of the giant's grave, and from this corruption probably sprung the giant Agros, the supposed founder of a castle at Abergavenny, long prior to that of Drogo de Baladun; the tradition also in the neighbourhood of Llanelly may have formerly buried this same giant among their mountains, if so we must reverse the tale and suppose he was an inhabitant of the valley, and that he fell not far from this spot, in an attack upon the Gwentians: to hazard a conjecture as to his name or the time he lived would be idle, all we can fairly infer from the former being lost, is that he was of very remote antiquity.
From 'A history of the county of Brecknock' by Theophilus Jones (1809), who got unnecessarily tangled up in the second part of that quote.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
3rd October 2010ce


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Coflein's record says:
The site, which occupies a triangular patch of ground beside the road, has undulating, disturbed ground, forming a possible mound approximately 2.5m diameter and 0.5m tall. On the W side is an unusually wide drystone field wall.
R Hayman, Hayman & Horton, 18/12/2003
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th October 2005ce
Edited 3rd October 2010ce