Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bryn Llechwen ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Onllwyn, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.7792 / 51°46'45"N

Longitude: -3.7187 / 3°43'7"W

OS Eastings: 281526

OS Northings: 210344

OS Grid: SN815103

Mapcode National: GBR Y7.Z475

Mapcode Global: VH5G3.HJFX

Entry Name: Bryn Llechwen ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 31 May 2006

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4241

Cadw Legacy ID: BR327

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

Community: Onllwyn

Built-Up Area: Seven Sisters

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a ring cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within enclosed rough pasture on the ENE end of a prominent plateau. The well-preserved ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 9m in diameter within a grass-covered stony ring bank about 4m in thickness and up to 0.2m in height. A slight hollow is visible within the interior and is presumably the result of antiquarian investigation or robbing. However, the ring cairn remains largely undisturbed and is situated in a classic location, with wide views all around. It is also tilted slightly towards the NE.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. Excavated examples have shown these monuments to be essentially ceremonial - although with a consistent link with the burial of the dead (some cremation burials have been revealed). Rituals involving the burning and deposition of charcoal, perhaps symbolic of the funeral pyre, would seem to have been important. The well preserved monument is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 26m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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