Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bedd-y-Brenin Round Cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Arthog, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.6838 / 52°41'1"N

Longitude: -4.0216 / 4°1'17"W

OS Eastings: 263439

OS Northings: 311485

OS Grid: SH634114

Mapcode National: GBR 8V.3VXB

Mapcode Global: WH56T.6S6X

Entry Name: Bedd-y-Brenin Round Cairn

Scheduled Date: 22 April 1972

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2487

Cadw Legacy ID: ME102

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Round cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Arthog

Traditional County: Merionethshire


The monument comprises the remains of a cairn, which probably dates to the Bronze Age (c. 2300 - 800 BC). It measures c.23m in diameter and is up to 1.5m high. The E side has been disturbed by sheepfolds which have exposed a small cist 0.75m x 0.45m with a capstone lying a little to the south. The W side of the cairn is on the whole better preserved. The site occupies a local summit and would have enjoyed wide views. The cairn overlooks at least one ancient routeway through the Meirionnydd hills, and is among a number of sites in the local area which represent the ritual and settlement landscape along this routeway.

The name Bedd y Brenin may embody a folk memory of the site’s former importance.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The features are an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and retain significant archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of both intact ritual and burial deposits, together with environmental and structural evidence. The cairn is part of a larger cluster of monuments and its importance is further enhanced by its group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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