Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castell Garw

A Scheduled Monument in Cilymaenllwyd, Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

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Latitude: 51.9098 / 51°54'35"N

Longitude: -4.6951 / 4°41'42"W

OS Eastings: 214718

OS Northings: 226905

OS Grid: SN147269

Mapcode National: GBR CY.PVFD

Mapcode Global: VH2NM.K8S9

Entry Name: Castell Garw

Scheduled Date: 27 March 1990

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2174

Cadw Legacy ID: CM245

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Henge

Period: Prehistoric

County: Carmarthenshire (Sir Gaerfyrddin)

Community: Cilymaenllwyd

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire


The monument comprises the remains of a henge monument dating from the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC - 1500 BC). Henges comprise circular areas defined by a bank and internal ditch. They seem to be ceremonial centres carefully designed and situated to control community participation and link into the surrounding landscape. It is thought that they marked a change in social attitudes towards the disposal of the dead, with burial rites previously focused solely on the chambered tomb. It is also possible that the later tradition of stone circles developed from the henge monument - while stone circles occur in only a very few henge monuments, most excavated examples of henges have been shown to contain circular settings of timber posts. Castell Garw is an oval enclosure, 125m north-south and 100m east-west, which straddles a low natural scarp, and is surrounded by a bank and external ditch. It survives well on the western side, but is incorporated into the modern field boundaries on the east. The bank stands c. 1m high and up to 18m wide. There is a possible entrance on the south-east side and a number of minor gaps on the western side. An upright stone and, possibly, other megaliths, formerly existed within the enclosure. There is a dump of large stones against one of the field boundaries.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric ritual practices. The monument retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence. The monument forms an important element in the wider prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape. Henges 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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