Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gurnos ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Llanafanfawr (Llanafan Fawr), Powys

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Latitude: 52.2084 / 52°12'30"N

Longitude: -3.5777 / 3°34'39"W

OS Eastings: 292289

OS Northings: 257860

OS Grid: SN922578

Mapcode National: GBR YF.335J

Mapcode Global: VH5D1.XRZD

Entry Name: Gurnos ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 15 November 2007

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4315

Cadw Legacy ID: BR385

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Llanafanfawr (Llanafan Fawr)

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a well-preserved infilled ring cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated on the Gurnos ridge, above the wide Esgair y Ffynnon basin on the S flanks of the Gorllwyn. The ring cairn is situated on a gentle SE-facing slope with wide views over the whole basin below. The small ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 7m in diameter within a well-defined stony ring bank 1.5m in thickness and 0.3m in height. The interior of the cairn has been infilled with rubble and the whole monument appears to be 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 importance of the monument is further enhanced by the topographical association of the ring cairn with the many other cairns that can be found within the surrounding area, including the large summit burial cairns on the Gorllwyn (BR384).

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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