Ancient Monuments

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Ffostyll Long Barrows

A Scheduled Monument in Talgarth, Powys

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Latitude: 52.0066 / 52°0'23"N

Longitude: -3.1975 / 3°11'51"W

OS Eastings: 317895

OS Northings: 234914

OS Grid: SO178349

Mapcode National: GBR YY.HMH6

Mapcode Global: VH6BP.JTFM

Entry Name: Ffostyll Long Barrows

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1701

Cadw Legacy ID: BR002

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered long barrow

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Talgarth

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument consists of the remains of two chambered long barrows, dating to early Neolithic (c. 4,200BC - 3,000BC). The sites are located 40m apart on gently sloping S-facing land at the head of a narrow valley leading down to the Afon Llynfi. Both were excavated between 1921 and 1923 by C.E. Vulliamy.

Ffostyll North (BR002A) is roughly oval in plan, and measures 41m long by 22m wide and up to 1.8m high. It is orientated WSW/ENE. At the S end ploughing has cut into the mound creating a near-vertical scarp. The only visible chamber is located at the E end of the mound and comprises 5 upright slabs, two pairs of E/W facing slabs forming the sides of the chamber and one N/S orientated slabs forming a blocking stone. The stones are the remains of an E-facing chamber. Excavation revealed that the chamber contained human remains, representing 6 or 7 individuals including two children, horse, dog, ox and pig bones, struck lithics and sherds of pottery. A second chamber was identified at the W end of the barrow during the excavation, comprising two parallel slabs. Human and animal bones were recovered from this chamber, together with one struck lithic. Vulliamy also identified a cist on the N side of the barrow. Several large slabs lying on the surface of the monument could have derived from the cist and the two chambers, or may indicate the presence of further chambers within the monument.

Ffostyll South (BR002B) is roughly rectangular with rounded corners in plan and measures 36m long by 23m wide and up to 2m high. It is orientated NNE/SSW. The chamber is located at the N end of mound and consists of seven uprights forming the chamber sides and a blocking stone, and measures 3.3m long by 1.6m wide. The chamber had been disturbed prior to the excavation, with stone removed from the monument for the construction of roads in the 1870s. It was reported that human bones had come to light during this quarrying. During the excavation, Vulliamy discovered a layer containing a large number of disarticulated human bones, representing 9 or more individuals, on the base of the chamber, together with three struck lithics. Overlying this deposit of human bones, 0.3m-0.45m higher, a layer of animal bones was found. This included goat, pig, ox and other domesticated species. Further burial deposits, including human and animal bones, sherds of pottery and struck lithics were recovered from the body of the barrow to the N of the chamber.

The monuments are of national importance for their potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The features are an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and retain significant archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of both intact ritual and burial deposits, together with environmental and structural evidence. Chambered long barrows 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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