Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Clap yr Arian cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Rhayader (Rhaeadr Gwy), Powys

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Latitude: 52.3173 / 52°19'2"N

Longitude: -3.5619 / 3°33'42"W

OS Eastings: 293631

OS Northings: 269948

OS Grid: SN936699

Mapcode National: GBR 9G.W1PL

Mapcode Global: VH5CP.60TW

Entry Name: Clap yr Arian cairn

Scheduled Date: 22 December 2003

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4092

Cadw Legacy ID: RD212

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Round cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Rhayader (Rhaeadr Gwy)

Traditional County: Radnorshire


The monument comprises the remains of a fine burial cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated on the gently sloping S-facing side of the plateau of Penrhiw-wen, commanding extensive views to the SE over the valley containing the Nant Gwynllyn. The grass-covered cairn measures 16.5m in diameter and between 0.3m in height on its N side and 1.1m in height on its S side. At least eight large kerbstones are visible on the W side of the cairn. A large crater has been opened in the centre of the cairn, measuring about 7m in diameter and 0.9m in depth; this crater is presumably the result of the antiquarian investigations described in the Record. It is possible that this monument is a platform cairn and that the current ring bank surrounding the central hollow is the result of upcast spoil. A slight terrace is visible on the W arc of the cairn, measuring about 0.3m in height, with the cairn material only beginning to rise about 1.6m into this ledge. A small spread heap of stony spoil is visible immediately to the SSW.

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 retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence, including a buried prehistoric land surface. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by its identification as a possible platform cairn, an unusual element within the surviving prehistoric ritual landscape.

The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 22m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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