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Carreg Coetan Burial Chamber

A Scheduled Monument in Newport (Trefdraeth), Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0186 / 52°1'6"N

Longitude: -4.8282 / 4°49'41"W

OS Eastings: 206033

OS Northings: 239352

OS Grid: SN060393

Mapcode National: GBR CR.GYXB

Mapcode Global: VH2MZ.8JDD

Entry Name: Carreg Coetan Burial Chamber

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1934

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3019

Cadw Legacy ID: PE056

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered tomb

Period: Prehistoric

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Newport (Trefdraeth)

Built-Up Area: Newport

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a Neolithic chambered tomb dating to the Neolithic period. Chambered tombs were built and used by local farming communities over long periods of time. There appear to be many regional traditions and variations in shape and construction.

This small but well preserved chambered tomb lies on the estuary of the River Nyfer on low lying flat land near the sheltered Newport Bay. It is one of the smaller tombs which lie clustered along the slopes of the Nevern Valley. The massive wedge shaped capstone measures 2.8m square by 0.5m thick and is supported by only two of the four sidestones which stand c. 1.5m at the front. The large megaliths of which the tomb is composed are almost certainly local erratics, carefully selected for shape and size.

Excavations in 1979 and 1980 revealed that the chamber had been surrounded by a circular cairn, revetted by a kerb of boulders c. 11m in diameter. Only one small segment of the cairn survived, and on the old ground surface below it lay round-bottomed Neolithic pottery. The pots probably served as cremation urns as within and around the broken sherds were quantities of charcoal and pieces the cremated bone of adult humans. They lay on a surface which had been carefully laid with small slabs of stone. Also outside the chamber, but unassociated with the cremated bone, was found a considerable amount of other Neolithic pottery. Also a fragment of polished axe, flint knives and scrapers were also found.

The tomb was dated by a series of four radiocarbon dates to about 3500 BC. The tomb was probably open for a number of years to serve the Neolithic farming community who settled in the area in the 4th millennium BC. Access to the tomb was presumably through the apparently original spaces between the side stones, though these may have been blocked by drystone walling between successive interments of the cremated remains of the dead.

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 environmental and structural evidence, including a buried prehistoric land surface. Chambered tombs 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.

Source: Cadw

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