Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tal y Waen cairns

A Scheduled Monument in Dolgellau, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.7316 / 52°43'53"N

Longitude: -3.9315 / 3°55'53"W

OS Eastings: 269674

OS Northings: 316629

OS Grid: SH696166

Mapcode National: GBR 8Z.0SSD

Mapcode Global: WH56N.LL2S

Entry Name: Tal y Waen cairns

Scheduled Date: 20 March 2009

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4101

Cadw Legacy ID: ME244

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Kerb cairn

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Dolgellau

Traditional County: Merionethshire


The monument comprises two burial cairns, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC - 800 BC) and situated within enclosed moorland on the saddle between two locally prominent hills. The stone-built burial cairns are circular on plan. The burial cairn to the E (Tal y Waen cairn A) measures 17m in diameter and up to 1m in height. The cairn has been disturbed in the past, presumably by antiquarian investigation; a large hollow is visible in its centre. The kerb cairn to the W (Tal y Waen kerb cairn B) measures 13m in diameter and up to 1.4m in height, over a kerb constructed from large upright boulders that stands up to 0.7m in height. The cairn has been disturbed in the past, presumably by antiquarian investigation; a large hollow is visible in its centre, extending to the kerb on the WSW.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual. 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, including buried prehistoric land surfaces. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by the visible structural detail - and by the group value formed by the proximity of the two cairns to each other.

The areas scheduled comprise the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. Area A, centred on Item A (Tal y Waen cairn A, SH 697 166), is circular and measures 20m in diameter. Area B, centred on Item B (Tal y Waen kerb cairn B, SH 696 166), is circular and measures 20m in diameter.

Source: Cadw

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