Ancient Monuments

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Carnau Gwynion cairn cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Ystradfellte, Powys

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Latitude: 51.8154 / 51°48'55"N

Longitude: -3.5646 / 3°33'52"W

OS Eastings: 292242

OS Northings: 214132

OS Grid: SN922141

Mapcode National: GBR YG.WSHQ

Mapcode Global: VH5G0.5MCP

Entry Name: Carnau Gwynion cairn cemetery

Scheduled Date: 22 January 2007

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1098

Cadw Legacy ID: BR328

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Cairn cemetery

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Ystradfellte

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a prehistoric cairn cemetery, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC). The cemetery contains the remains of at least four round burial cairns, situated within enclosed rough pasture along the spine of the Carnau Gwynion Ridge. Although small, the cairns are very well-defined. The position of the cemetery on the Carnau Gwynion Ridge may have been chosen as a result of the many 'cairn like' natural outcrops that can be found in the locality.

The cairn situated on the N of the group (Item A) is circular on plan and measures about 7m in diameter and up to about 0.5m in height. Although small, this cairn occupies a prominent position and would once have boasted extensive views. A further cairn (Item B) is situated about 15m to the SW of the first. It is circular on plan and measures about 5.5m in diameter and about 0.3m in height. The largest cairn (Item C) is situated further downslope on the S-facing slopes of Carnau Gwynion. It is circular on plan and measures about 11.5m in diameter and up to about 0.6m in height. The southernmost cairn (Item D) is situated about 50m to the SE of the largest. It is circular on plan and measures about 7.5m in diameter and up to about 0.3m in height. All of the cairns have suffered from disturbance in the past, with probable antiquarian investigation or robbing indicated by central hollows and trenches. Despite this disturbance, the bulk of each cairn remains intact and well-defined and their archaeological potential remains great.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The features are important relics of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and retain significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by the group value formed by the association of the individual cairns within the cemetery - and the topographical association of the cemetery with the many other cairns and cemeteries that can be found within the surrounding area.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. Area A (SN 9222 1438) is circular and measures 22m in diameter. Area B (SN 9221 1436) is circular and measures 12m in diameter. Area C (SN 9223 1398) is circular and measures 22m in diameter. Area D (SN 9227 1394) is circular and measures 22m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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