Ancient Monuments

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Pen-y-Wyrlod Long Barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Llanigon, Powys

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Latitude: 52.0518 / 52°3'6"N

Longitude: -3.1319 / 3°7'54"W

OS Eastings: 322477

OS Northings: 239868

OS Grid: SO224398

Mapcode National: GBR F0.DZQM

Mapcode Global: VH6BJ.NPMH

Entry Name: Pen-y-Wyrlod Long Barrow

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1706

Cadw Legacy ID: BR012

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered long barrow

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Llanigon

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument consists of the remains of a chambered long barrow, dating to early Neolithic (c. 4,200BC - 3,000BC). The barrow is located on a gentle SW-facing slope in a saddle between two hills. The monument is roughly pear-shaped in plan, orientated NE/SW and measures 18m long by 9.5m wide at the E end, reducing to 7.5m wide at the W end. It is less than 0.3m high along its length, with the mound of the barrow barely discernible from the surrounding undulating ground. At the E end of the barrow is a small rectangular chamber formed from four upright slabs, measuring 2m long by 1m wide protruding around 1m above the body of the monument. At the W end of the barrow are the denuded remains of a second chamber consisting of two parallel slabs just protruding above the surface of the monument. The barrow was excavated in 1920 and 1921 by the Woolhope Club who dug a 14m long trench along the axis of the monument and cleared out the main chamber, and revealed the remains of the W chamber. The main chamber contained a 1.2m deep deposit of stones and black earth containing bones, and sherds of pottery. The base of the chamber was found to be paved with flat slabs. The finds point to at least three phases of burial, however the methods of excavation were crude and the record impartial resulting in a limited understanding of the site. Finds of blue glass beads and a coin of the Emperor Crispus (AD 317-326) were also found within the main chamber, indicating that it had been disturbed in the Roman period. The current layout of the chamber is thought to be a result of some reconstruction following the excavation.

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 barrows 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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