Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cefn Bryn Burial Chamber

A Scheduled Monument in Ilston (Llanddinol), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5781 / 51°34'41"N

Longitude: -4.1551 / 4°9'18"W

OS Eastings: 250762

OS Northings: 188784

OS Grid: SS507887

Mapcode National: GBR GT.1J1D

Mapcode Global: VH3MX.XLQL

Entry Name: Cefn Bryn Burial Chamber

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3747

Cadw Legacy ID: GM167

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered long cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Ilston (Llanddinol)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of a chambered long cairn, dating to the early Neolithic (c. 4400BC - 2800BC). A long cairn is a roughly rectangular or trapezoidal mound of stone, usually between 25m and 120m long, with a length exceeding twice its greatest width. The mound may be edged with a timber or stone revetment, and they contain one or more stone or wooden burial chambers at one end.

The cairn is situated below the steep southern scarp of Cefn Bryn, the quarrying of gravel, and the exposure of the capstone of a megalithic cist at the approximate centre of the mound, led to a thorough excavation of the site in 1939.

The mound is 37.2m in length and aligned from northeast to southwest, 20.4m at its widest point and is preserved to a height of 1.2m. The shape of the mound is defined by a rough kerb of larger stones varying in width from 0.6m to 1.2m. The chamber has internal measurements 1.2m length and 0.9m width; the two capstones which form the roof are supported by upright slabs on the northwest and south east sides with a single pillar on the eastern edge, at a height 0.6m above ground level. Drystone walling has been used to build the entire south western wall of the chamber and complete the other sides.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The features are an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape, together with environmental and structural evidence. Chambered long 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.

Source: Cadw

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