Ancient Monuments

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Gwernvale chambered cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Crickhowell (Crughywel), Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.866 / 51°51'57"N

Longitude: -3.1471 / 3°8'49"W

OS Eastings: 321113

OS Northings: 219223

OS Grid: SO211192

Mapcode National: GBR F0.SN07

Mapcode Global: VH6CH.DCMC

Entry Name: Gwernvale chambered cairn

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 218

Cadw Legacy ID: BR016

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered long barrow

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Crickhowell (Crughywel)

Built-Up Area: Crickhowell

Traditional County: Brecknockshire

Description

The monument consists of the remains of a chambered long cairn, dating to early Neolithic (c. 4,200BC - 3,000BC). The monument was partially excavated in advance of the realignment of the A40 in 1977-78. The excavation revealed that the monument was a stone-built long cairn trapezoidal in plan, 45m in length, orientated NW/SE. The cairn contained four stone-built chambers, accessed from the sides of the monument, and a forecourt defined by horns at the SE end. The forecourt contained a false portal stone. Three chambers were accessed from the southern side of the monument and one from the north. Dates from material found within the chambered cairn reveal that it was in use for around 500 years from 3750 BC to 3200 BC. Below the chambered cairn evidence of settlement was found including pits, traces of small structures and artefacts including a fragment of a polished stone axe. Cereal grains were also recovered from the buried soil. Evidence of earlier occupation on the site was also found, in the form of microliths, small flint tools characteristic of the late Mesolithic period and dating suggests that the site had been used by Mesolithic populations between 5900 BC and 5600 BC.

The monument is of national importance for its 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 cairns 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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