Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Fan Frynych kerb cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Glyn Tarell, Powys

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Latitude: 51.8976 / 51°53'51"N

Longitude: -3.5087 / 3°30'31"W

OS Eastings: 296286

OS Northings: 223194

OS Grid: SN962231

Mapcode National: GBR YJ.QNB4

Mapcode Global: VH5FN.4KFN

Entry Name: Fan Frynych kerb cairn

Scheduled Date: 25 January 2006

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4246

Cadw Legacy ID: BR329

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Kerb cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Glyn Tarell

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a kerb cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within open moorland on a prominent position on the imposing ridge of Fan Frynych in the Brecon Beacons. The stone-built cairn is circular on plan and measures about 11.5m in diameter and up to 0.4m in height - several distinct stretches of kerb are visible, particularly on the NW and SE sides. The cairn commands spectacular views over the surrounding landscape.

The cairn possibly represents the remains of a platform cairn - the barrow displays no evidence of original 'bulk' indicating a rounded profile and is unlikely to have been extensively robbed. Indeed, the majority of the base of the cairn appears undisturbed. Excavated examples of platform cairns have been shown 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 monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The well-preserved 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. The possibility that the barrow is an example of a more unusual structural class of burial monument, the platform cairn, further increases its importance.

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 30m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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