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Sweyne Howes (north)

Chambered Tomb

<b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (20.3.2012)
Also known as:
  • Sweyne's Howes (north)
  • Swine Houses
  • Sweyn's Howes

Nearest Town:Burry Port (11km N)
OS Ref (GB):   SS421899 / Sheet: 159
Latitude:51° 35' 6.99" N
Longitude:   4° 16' 45.88" W

Added by Kammer

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<b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by tjj <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by tjj <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by Billy Fear <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by Billy Fear <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by Billy Fear <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by matt saze <b>Sweyne Howes (north)</b>Posted by matt saze


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16/03/2020 – A day of blue skies, big stones and good walking in a fine landscape. I've always wanted to visit the Gower. Bus from Swansea to Rhossili in the morning for a walk over 3 hills, Rhossili Down, Llanmadoc Hill and finally Cefn Bryn to drop down to catch the bus back from Penmaen. I knew the area was full of old stones but with a longish walk ahead we decided to not deviate from our route too much to look at stuff. Just go with the flow and if we happen to come across things great, if not there was always next time. The walk and views were more than enough.

Heading up to the Beacon with its wonderful views, we carried on along Rhossili Down. My decision to not leave the track went straight out the window as soon as I saw Sweyne Howes down below. They looked too good to pass by so off we went. First Sweyen Howes south then on to the north one. Both in the very good category, North is probably more a wow than a very good.

Wished we had more time here, Rhossili Down is not a hill to be rushed. Always hard when you live a long way away and you only have a day at a place. Tricky to try and not do too much. If you haven’t been here (I see plenty of TMAers have) please go, pick a sunny day, the area has a bit of everything.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th March 2020ce
Edited 19th March 2020ce

Sunday 21st October 2012
The day started overcast but quickly turned into an amazing day full of blue sky and sea. Rhossili soon became very busy because of the lovely weather (surfers out in droves). Fortunately we had made an early start so avoided the crowds until later in the day. The plan was to walk to Hillend from Rhossili along the top of Rhossili Down and return along the beach (which I believe is the largest in the UK). Sweyne Howes burial chambers came into view at about the half way point of the walk - one is ruined with the stones scattered. The larger and more intact chamber is reminiscent of some of the wedge tombs I saw in Ireland. Unlike the wedge tombs, however, these two are hidden from the sea view being well below the high ridge of the Down.
tjj Posted by tjj
23rd October 2012ce
Edited 23rd October 2012ce

Instead I turn my attentions northwards, to the sibling monument. This one is much more intact, the chamber almost complete but for the slipped capstone, recalling Mulfra Quoit (I get a very similar feeling here to being on the West Penwith moors). Its general shape and proximity to the wrecked southern chamber also brings to mind Dyffryn Adudwy in North Wales, although I’ve never been there. The capstone, in its semi-fallen state, is a heart-shaped block. The stony spread stretches away down the slope, so it appears that the chamber was at the end of an oval mound, rather than in its centre. There’s no indication of a kerb. A tranquil spot, no-one comes to disturb me here as I sit for a while, although now there are walkers about on the ridge above. No-one comes looking for the geocache in the chamber, either. Someone else’s hobby, that. I don’t need a geocache to get me here, the stones speak loudly enough to draw my attention. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th March 2012ce

Park in the car park at Rhossili point (near the National Trust shop) and it's an obvious but long and very steep walk up to the top of Rhossili headland. Once at the top keep following the path along the ridge, past the small cairns and eventually you will spot Sweyne Howes lower down the headland on your right hand side (sea to your left). When I visited it was extremely windy - so much so I got blown into a dreaded gorse bush on the way back down. Those spike not only go through clothing but trainers as well. I hate gorse!!! Posted by CARL
16th March 2010ce


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It's suggested that the rather Scandinavian name of these burial chambers is after the supposed founder of Swansea, Sweyne Forkbeard, (Svend Tveskæg) King of Denmark and sometime king of England 1013-14. Swansea is first mentioned as "Sweynesse" in a 12th century charter. The Welsh name for the city is quite different and sensibly refers to the mouth of the river (Abertawe).

"We all know" the chambers are really prehistoric and not Viking at all - but the mounds might well have been recognised and even reused for a burial in later years: many others across the country were. The story is that Sweyne himself is buried here, but you'd like to think he made it back to Denmark really.

There's an Earl Sweyne going to Wales here in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle in 1046. So maybe Sweynes were just two a penny at the time.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th January 2006ce
Edited 25th January 2006ce