Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Afon Dulyn ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Caerhun, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.1888 / 53°11'19"N

Longitude: -3.8968 / 3°53'48"W

OS Eastings: 273362

OS Northings: 367424

OS Grid: SH733674

Mapcode National: GBR 60.31X1

Mapcode Global: WH54K.33NQ

Entry Name: Afon Dulyn ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2003

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4069

Cadw Legacy ID: CN357

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Conwy

Community: Caerhun

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


The monument comprises the remains of a complex ring cairn, a ceremonial monument probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC). It is situated in boulder-strewn rough upland grazing on the N bank of the Afon Dulyn and consists of a ring of cairn material surrounding four prominent earthfast stones. The cairn measures about 7m in diameter over a broad ring bank of stones. The ring bank measures about 2m in width and is up to 0.4m in height; it has a partial kerb of large, irregularly placed boulders. There are four large orthostats set in the inner edge of the ring bank, forming a subrectangular setting that is roughly aligned from N to S; the largest of these orthostats measures 1m in height.

The site is reminiscent of the 'four-poster', a type of Bronze Age monument common in Perthshire in Scotland and particularly associated with cremation burials (see, for example, The Four Stones, Walton, Powys). As such, the site may represent an interesting variant of the embanked stone circle. However, it should probably be considered as a small complex ring cairn, a distinction which is in keeping with local megalithic traditions (see, for example, Moel Goedog ring cairn, Harlech, Gwynedd).

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric ritual practices. The monument retains significant archaeological potential with a strong probability of associated archaeological features and deposits and forms an important element in the wider prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 30m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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