Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Carreg Samson Burial Chamber

A Scheduled Monument in Mathry (Mathri), Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 51.9583 / 51°57'29"N

Longitude: -5.1329 / 5°7'58"W

OS Eastings: 184837

OS Northings: 233507

OS Grid: SM848335

Mapcode National: GBR CC.LTQ1

Mapcode Global: VH1QQ.Z18L

Entry Name: Carreg Samson Burial Chamber

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3335

Cadw Legacy ID: PE036

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered tomb

Period: Prehistoric

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Mathry (Mathri)

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered tomb, dating to the Neolithic period (c. 4,400 BC - 2,900 BC). 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.

Carreg Samson stands on gently sloping land at the head of a narrow creek running down to the sheltered inlet which is set the harbour of Abercastle. It has a particularly impressive appearance as the chamber is composed of six remaining large pointed uprights, three of which support the massive capstone which is 4.75m in length and varies in thickness from 0.75 to 1.5m. The burial chamber is oval in plan and measures, 3.4m in length and 1.7m wide, the capstone rises towards its eastern giving an internal height of the chamber of between 2 and 3m. Excavations in 1968 suggested that on the northwest of the chamber there had been at least one and possibly two further stones which formed either side of a passage that led from the perimeter of the cairn to the chamber. The whole of the chamber has been constructed in a pit, 8m by 5m and at least 0.8m deep. The excavations at the site revealed that the burial rite practised at the tomb had been cremation.

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.

Source: Cadw

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