Ancient Monuments

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Penmaen Burrows Burial Chamber

A Scheduled Monument in Ilston (Llanddinol), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5728 / 51°34'21"N

Longitude: -4.1203 / 4°7'13"W

OS Eastings: 253159

OS Northings: 188119

OS Grid: SS531881

Mapcode National: GBR GV.0M8R

Mapcode Global: VH4KD.JQMP

Entry Name: Penmaen Burrows Burial Chamber

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1964

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3755

Cadw Legacy ID: GM123

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered tomb

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Ilston (Llanddinol)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered tomb, dating to the Neolithic period (c. 4400 BC - 2900 BC). Chambered tombs were built and used by local farming communities over long periods of time. There appear to be many regional traditions and variations in shape and construction.

The chambered tomb of Pen-maen Burrows sits among sand dunes on a low headland flanking Three Cliffs Bay on the west. Two rectangular chambers and an entrance passage are exposed in a hollow below a large dune. The structure is built of slabs of limestone, sandstone and conglomerate, and is ruinous. The main chamber is 4m in length and 2m wide and has six uprights in their original positions, including the one which closes the western end. The entry is from the east by a gap 0.8m wide between transverse portal slabs which from a passage 1.2m wide whose outer end is buried; the long axis of chamber and passage is at 80ยบ east of south. Between the two uprights of the south side of the main chamber is the entry to another, which consists of three slabs and measures 2.6m along its north-south axis and is 1.4m wide. The displaced capstone rests on the south eastern uprights of the main chamber and on loose stones within. Following minor investigations in 1860 and 1881, the remains were cleared in 1893 down to the original ground surface, which is now covered again by blown sand

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual. The monument is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and environmental and structural evidence, including a buried prehistoric land surface. Chambered tombs 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.

Source: Cadw

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