Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Pontsticill platform cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Vaynor (Y Faenor), Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

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Latitude: 51.8 / 51°48'0"N

Longitude: -3.3551 / 3°21'18"W

OS Eastings: 306653

OS Northings: 212131

OS Grid: SO066121

Mapcode National: GBR YQ.XY3Y

Mapcode Global: VH6CR.S0NY

Entry Name: Pontsticill platform cairn

Scheduled Date: 11 September 2007

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4288

Cadw Legacy ID: BR362

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Platform Cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tudful)

Community: Vaynor (Y Faenor)

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of a platform cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated to the rear of a W-facing terrace on the slopes above and to the E of the Pontsticill Reservoir. The platform cairn is circular on plan and measures about 14.5m in overall diameter and about 0.6m in height. The cairn displays no evidence of original 'bulk' and boasts a well-defined edge; it is thus interpreted as a large low platform cairn. An overlying stony ring bank is visible on the E side of the cairn, measuring about 2.5m in thickness and 0.3m in height - this feature may be contemporary with the cairn, or may be associated with the spread of stone within its arc, thought to represent the remains of a later ruined pen or sheep burial. The platform cairn itself appears to remain intact and undisturbed.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The well-preserved monument is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape and retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence. The platform cairn represents a more unusual structural class of cairn, further increasing its importance.

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 30m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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