Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Rhiwiau round barrow cemetery

A Scheduled Monument in Llansannan, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.1313 / 53°7'52"N

Longitude: -3.5805 / 3°34'49"W

OS Eastings: 294353

OS Northings: 360518

OS Grid: SH943605

Mapcode National: GBR 6F.6LRY

Mapcode Global: WH660.ZK59

Entry Name: Rhiwiau round barrow cemetery

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3595

Cadw Legacy ID: DE100

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Round barrow

Period: Prehistoric

County: Conwy

Community: Llansannan

Traditional County: Denbighshire


The monument comprises the remains of four round barrows, burial mounds probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated in enclosed pasture on the central ridge formed by the diverging headwaters of the Afon Hyrdd. The area covered by the original designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground and the scheduled area has been revised in order to rectify the original designation. Recent identification of three further round barrows (in addition to that originally scheduled) has highlighted the need to extend the scheduled area in order to provide protection for the cemetery as a whole.

The northernmost and largest barrow is roughly oval on plan, measuring roughly 31m from NW to SE by 22m transversely. It stands up to 2.8m in height and was probably originally round. It has been disturbed in the past, with historical documentation noting both robbing and antiquarian investigation. Several funerary urns and a bronze dagger are recorded as having been discovered. Three further barrows are visible within the enclosed pasture situated further to the SW: the first is roughly circular on plan and measures about 14m in diameter and up to 0.6m in height; the next is roughly circular on plan and measures about 15m in diameter and up to 0.8m in height; and the last and southwesternmost is roughly circular on plan and measures about 14.5m in diameter and up to 0.8m in height. All three, although reduced by ploughing in the past, remain substantially intact.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The 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 two larger barrows (Item A and DE124), situated on opposing sides of the valley, may indicate that the cemetery was originally much larger. The important Bronze Age funerary and ritual landscape of Brenig is situated about 5km to the SE.

The areas to be scheduled comprise the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. Area A is centred upon Item A (the northernmost barrow, SH 9445 6065); it is circular and measures 38m in diameter. Area B is centred upon Item B (SH 9435 6044); it is circular and measures 18m in diameter. Area C is centred upon Item C (SH 9423 6043); it is circular and measures 22m in diameter. Area D is centred upon Item D (SH 9416 6032); it is circular and measures 22m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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