Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Carn Wen cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Nantmel, Powys

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Latitude: 52.2841 / 52°17'2"N

Longitude: -3.4867 / 3°29'12"W

OS Eastings: 298679

OS Northings: 266146

OS Grid: SN986661

Mapcode National: GBR 9K.Y85P

Mapcode Global: VH5CQ.JV2D

Entry Name: Carn Wen cairn

Scheduled Date: 14 January 2004

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1078

Cadw Legacy ID: RD205

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Kerb cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Nantmel

Traditional County: Radnorshire


The monument comprises the remains of a burial cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within open moorland on the SE-facing side of the summit of Gwastedyn Hill. The partially grass-covered stone built kerb cairn commands spectacular views, particularly to the SE. The cairn measures about 9m in diameter over a prominent kerb of large boulders and about 0.3m in height; it has been constructed to deliberately incorporate a bedrock outcrop within the cairn material. The cairn has been disturbed in the past, presumably the result of antiquarian investigation or robbing. Several hollows are visible within the cairn material and a rectangular stone cist has been exposed just to the S of the centre. This cist measures 1.2m from NE to SW within the right angle formed by two bedrock faces (forming the NE end and the NW side of the cist) and two fallen orthostats. The cairn is crossed by the remnants of a spread stony field bank, running along the crest of the hill; and a small modern cairn has been constructed on the bedrock summit of the cairn. The reference on the Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map sheet to an adjacent 'Druid's Circle' would correspond to the foundations of a small subrectangular hut and associated arc of enclosure bank, both of which are situated immediately to the NW of the cairn.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual. The monument is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 28m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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