Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Esgair Garn ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Llanwrtyd Wells (Llanwrtyd), Powys

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Latitude: 52.1344 / 52°8'3"N

Longitude: -3.7097 / 3°42'35"W

OS Eastings: 283075

OS Northings: 249836

OS Grid: SN830498

Mapcode National: GBR Y8.7LGT

Mapcode Global: VH5DC.NM53

Entry Name: Esgair Garn ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 15 November 2007

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4291

Cadw Legacy ID: BR363

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Llanwrtyd Wells (Llanwrtyd)

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of an infilled ring cairn or platform cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated on the level crest of Esgair Garn, a prominent NW-facing spur of Mynydd Trawsnant. It is overlooked by higher ground on the SE side. The ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 8m in diameter within a grass-covered stony ring bank 2m in thickness and 0.2m in height. Several stretches of distinct kerb are visible. The interior of the cairn has been infilled with quartzitic rubble and now stands up to 0.7m in height. The cairn now bears a modern marker cairn but appears to be largely intact and undisturbed.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. Excavated examples have shown these monuments to be essentially ceremonial - although with a consistent link with the burial of the dead (some cremation burials have been revealed). Rituals involving the burning and deposition of charcoal, perhaps symbolic of the funeral pyre, would seem to have been important. The well preserved monument is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 32m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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