Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Sweyne's Howe chambered cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Llangennith, Llanmadoc and Cheriton (Llangynydd, Llanmadog a Cheriton), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5853 / 51°35'7"N

Longitude: -4.2802 / 4°16'48"W

OS Eastings: 242119

OS Northings: 189844

OS Grid: SS421898

Mapcode National: GBR GQ.M113

Mapcode Global: VH3MV.RFK2

Entry Name: Sweyne's Howe chambered cairns

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 138

Cadw Legacy ID: GM027

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered tomb

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Llangennith, Llanmadoc and Cheriton (Llangynydd, Llanmadog a Cheriton)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of two chambered cairns, probably dating to the Neolithic (c. 4400-2800 BC) and situated within open moorland on east-facing slopes of Rhossili Down. A third cairn, a probably kerb cairn of later Bronze Age date, is situated downslope.

The chambered cairn on the north is stone-built and contains a visibile chamber to its rear, with a possible entrance discernible alongside stretches of outer kerb. That to the south was presumably similar in structure, although it has been more comprehensibly robbed and destroyed in antiquity. A large orthostat to the rear of the cairn probably indicates the location of the chamber, which has since been pulled apart with the larger stones spread to the east. Both chambered cairns are of portal dolmen type and probably originally measured about 13m in diameter, although both have been spread and disturbed. The probable kerb cairn measures about 7m in diameter. Although it has been largely robbed away, the kerb is visible as a bank containing several edge-set stones around the western arc of the cairn.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual. The Sweyne's Howe chambered cairns and nearby kerb cairn are important relics of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape. The cairns retain significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact burial or ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence.

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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