Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Garn Las ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Llywel, Powys

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Latitude: 51.9112 / 51°54'40"N

Longitude: -3.7042 / 3°42'15"W

OS Eastings: 282868

OS Northings: 225002

OS Grid: SN828250

Mapcode National: GBR Y8.PMV9

Mapcode Global: VH5FJ.R726

Entry Name: Garn Las ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 26 September 2006

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4263

Cadw Legacy ID: BR338

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Llywel

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a ring cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within open moorland on a terrace on the NE-facing slopes of Garn Las, on the lower N-facing slopes below the main summit ridge of the Black Mountain. The well-preserved ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 10m in overall diameter. The cairn displays evidence of structural phasing: the original ring cairn is visible as a platform measuring 0.2m in height beneath a later burial cairn measuring 6.5m in diameter and up to 0.6m in height. The platform created by the ring cairn is especially visible on the N side. The burial cairn has been disturbed in the past, with a modern ring of stones enclosing a small modern cairn encompassing an erect slab. The cairn is overlooked by higher ground immediately to the SW, a position typical for its type.

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 - and the position of many ring cairns within the surrounding landscape would seem to indicate the importance of showmanship, with ceremonies viewed from outside. The structural evidence contained within the superimposition of a round cairn upon the original ring cairn further enhances its importance, as does the topographic association with the contemporary platform cairn situated c. 250m to the SSW. This 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 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 25m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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