Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Trefignath Burial Chamber

A Scheduled Monument in Holyhead (Caergybi), Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn)

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Latitude: 53.2933 / 53°17'35"N

Longitude: -4.6142 / 4°36'51"W

OS Eastings: 225859

OS Northings: 380553

OS Grid: SH258805

Mapcode National: GBR GMZZ.WPR

Mapcode Global: WH42H.3H05

Entry Name: Trefignath Burial Chamber

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3247

Cadw Legacy ID: AN011

Schedule Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Category: Chambered round barrow

Period: Prehistoric

County: Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn)

Community: Holyhead (Caergybi)

Traditional County: Anglesey


The monument comprises the remains of a chambered tomb, dating to the Neolithic period. This ruinous megalithic monument is situated on a long and almost bare rocky ridge. It was built in three separate stages from about 3750-3500 BC and may have been active until about 2250 BC. The structure was greatly damaged in the last decade of the eighteenth century and the cairn that surrounded the stones was largely removed in 1870. It was excavated in 1977-79 before being consolidated and restored for public viewing.

The monument was built over a scatter of occupation debris including flints and pottery. This was dated to about 3100 BC by a radio carbon determination. The first stage of the monument was a small chamber set in a cairn up to 4.0m across. It opened to the north via a short passage. The second stage saw a larger chamber built on the east side of the first stage monument, whose cairn was incorporated in a much larger wedge shaped cairn defined by drystone walling. The new chamber opened onto a recessed forecourt at the eastern end. In the third stage a new chamber was built in the second stage forecourt and the cairn was extended around it. This final chamber had tall portal stones on the east standing more than 2.0m high. Fragments of bone were found in this eastern chamber.

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 a buried prehistoric land surface. Chambered tombs 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 an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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