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


Chambered Cairn


Saturday morning dawned grey and dry, and inevitably, Jane was like a greyhound out of a trap, with the key to Barclodiad-y-Gawres the hare. Soon, the four of us (Cleo stayed in bed), were rewarded with one of the most spectacular dolmens in the country.

It takes a long time for one's eyes to adjust to the darkness, but finally a very impressive chambered tomb becomes visible. Six stones are decorated with lozenge, spiral, cup mark and concentric circle patterns – the first and most impressive immediately to the right after unlocking the gate and entering the structure within a structure.

The large capstone has been skilfully engineered so as to appear to be balancing delicately and airily on the uprights, when viewed from certain angles. The back stones of the two side chambers are both carved with spiral designs. The best of these are on the eastern chamber – three spirals in a row. The handiwork of a Stone Age monumental mason, perhaps?

Whilst sitting on the comfortable, dry, sandy bank above the gloomy western chamber, listening to oystercatchers and the crash of the incoming tide on the cliffs below, two chaps entered, so I directed them to the Maglite Jane had left by the gate, and pointed out the carvings while giving them a (very) brief overview of the dolmen.
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
3rd September 2006ce
Edited 3rd September 2006ce

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