Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Moel yr Henfaes ring cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Cynwyd, Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)

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Latitude: 52.9378 / 52°56'15"N

Longitude: -3.3781 / 3°22'41"W

OS Eastings: 307479

OS Northings: 338706

OS Grid: SJ074387

Mapcode National: GBR 6P.LV7J

Mapcode Global: WH787.2FN6

Entry Name: Moel yr Henfaes ring cairn

Scheduled Date: 28 October 2008

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4321

Cadw Legacy ID: DE299

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Ring cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)

Community: Cynwyd

Traditional County: Merionethshire


The monument comprises the remains of a ring cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within enclosed moorland on the SW-facing slopes of the summit of Moel yr Henfaes. The well-preserved ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 9m in diameter within a low stony ring bank about 2.2m in thickness. The low ring bank contains many quartzitic stones.

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 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 Bronze Age cairns that can be found within the surrounding area.

The area proposed for scheduling 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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