Ancient Monuments

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Rhossili Down Round Cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Rhossili (Rhosili), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5779 / 51°34'40"N

Longitude: -4.2807 / 4°16'50"W

OS Eastings: 242063

OS Northings: 189024

OS Grid: SS420890

Mapcode National: GBR GQ.MDXX

Mapcode Global: VH3MV.RLBR

Entry Name: Rhossili Down Round Cairns

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1950

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3641

Cadw Legacy ID: GM194

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Round cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Rhossili (Rhosili)

Built-Up Area: Rhossili

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of seven burial cairns, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c. 2300 - 800 BC).

Cairn A - A large cairn measuring approximately 13.7m in diameter and 0.6m high. There is the remains of an orthostatic kerb on the north of the cairn.

Cairn B - Cairn measuring 9.1m in diameter by 0.3m high with a kerb of conglomerate orthostats. Many of the kerb stones rise a little above the platform. A small hollow a little to the south of the centre is possibly the site of a robbed cist.

Cairn C - Cairn measuring 12.2m in diameter by 0.6m high. A stretch of the kerb of large conglomerate blocks of the local stone survives on the north side.

Cairn D - Cairn measuring 15.2m in diameter outlined by a slight stony bank some 1.8m-2.5m wide. At the centre is a pile of stones about 0.3m high and 5.5m long with traces of a kerb of large blocks and a central excavated hollow from which other large stones, possibly the remains of a cist, have been moved.

Cairn E - A small ring cairn consisting of a low stony bank 8.5m in diameter. There is no sign of any stone in the interior.

Cairn F - This cairn is known as the Beacon and occupies the summit of Rhossili Down (193m above OD) with wide views in all directions. Dimensions are difficult to ascertain but it appears to be elongated, about 18.3m long from north-south by 13.7m wide. There are traces of a kerb of large boulders, especially on the north. The crown of the cairn is hummocky and disturbed and carries a modern OS pillar.

Cairn G - Sited at 161m above OD. A possible ring cairn consisting of a slight circular platform 10.1m in diameter by 0.3m in height. A vague bank forms a rim to the platform.

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, together with environmental and structural evidence. Cairns 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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