Ancient Monuments

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Capel Isaf Cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

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Latitude: 51.6846 / 51°41'4"N

Longitude: -4.1421 / 4°8'31"W

OS Eastings: 252011

OS Northings: 200594

OS Grid: SN520005

Mapcode National: GBR GT.9TS2

Mapcode Global: VH4JT.5X2H

Entry Name: Capel Isaf Cemetery

Scheduled Date: 6 May 2010

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1390

Cadw Legacy ID: CM387

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Cemetery

Period: Medieval

County: Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

Community: Llanelli

Built-Up Area: Llanelli

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire


This site comprises a cemetery which has been shown by excavation to date to the Medieval period. Four radiocarbon dates have been obtained from burials within the cemetery, from AD1010 to AD1430. The archaeological remains are entirely below ground, there are no visible above-ground traces. Excavation revealed a small cemetery, tightly packed with inter-cutting graves, and with a reasonable degree of skeletal preservation. Burials are orientated E-W, and some appear to have been stone-lined cist burials. A ditch curving around the southern side probably represents the cemetery boundary. Documentary sources first mention a chapel here in the 16th century, but it is only in 1814 that a chapel building can be definitely associated with Capel Isaf farm. No trace of this chapel building remains above-ground, but the excavation revealed evidence for a building which may represent part of an earlier chapel. The limits of the buried archaeology are well-defined - by the ditch to the south, and by a lack of archaeological deposits in excavation trenches to the northeast, east and south. The remains are concentrated in an area approximately 40m E-W and 20m N-S. The buried archaeology is generally shallow, with grave-cuts visible only 0.1m below the surface at the northern end of the site. Only small samples were taken for dating, all other material remains in-situ.

The site is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Medieval religion, burial practises and ceremony. The survival of human skeletal remains is rare in west Wales, and also allows an opportunity to examine people's diet and lifestyle as well as their death and burial. The undisturbed nature of the site, with a lack of later development, further enhances the archaeological potential and it is possible that earlier burials also survive, lower down in the stratigraphic sequence.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive and comprises and measures and measures 48m NW-SE and 20m SW-NE.

Source: Cadw

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