Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Carn-y-Defaid Round Cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Blaenavon (Blaenafon), Torfaen (Tor-faen)

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Latitude: 51.7839 / 51°47'1"N

Longitude: -3.0587 / 3°3'31"W

OS Eastings: 327063

OS Northings: 209998

OS Grid: SO270099

Mapcode National: GBR F3.YZW9

Mapcode Global: VH79C.XFVB

Entry Name: Carn-y-Defaid Round Cairns

Scheduled Date: 12 October 1981

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3143

Cadw Legacy ID: MM209

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Round cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Torfaen (Tor-faen)

Community: Blaenavon (Blaenafon)

Built-Up Area: Blaenavon

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of two burial cairns, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c 2300 - 800 BC).

Cairn A is circular in plan, 16m in diameter and 1.8m high and built from limestone blocks. There is a large hole in the centre of the cairn, 6m in diameter and 1.5m deep that is probably the result of ancient disturbance, and on the SW side a small shelter has been made in the side of the cairn. Cairn B is located 60m to the SW, is circular in plan, 14m in diameter and 1.5m high and constructed from limestone blocks. There are two small hollows in the centre that have a combined diameter of 2m.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. 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, together with environmental and structural evidence. Cairns may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their 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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