Road Trip
A Visit to the Standing Stones Pentre Ifan in Wales
July 2003
Pentre Ifan is the best known, and because of its height, the most impressive megalithic monument in Wales. It is the remains of a chambered tomb for the communal burial of the dead which would have been used for some period before being sealed. The tomb was erected in the Neolithic age, perhaps as early as 3500 BC. The burial itself was once partially covered by a great cairn, extending well to the rear, but the stones have long since been removed so it now lacks its original covering.

The tomb is of Portal Dolmen type, with the front of the chamber composed of three large uprights set in an H formation - though here it is placed, unusually, at the center of a curving façade of slabs. The enormous capstone, nearly 17 ft. (5.1m) long and probably weighing over 16 tons, is supported on just three stones.

Excavations in 1936-7 and 1958-9 showed that the burial chamber lay within a large oval pit dug into the sloping ground; its sides had originally been constructed of dry-stone walling with a few larger slabs. The forecourt area at the front appeared to have been filled with carefully packed stones, which must have caused difficulty each time there was a fresh burial. Finds were meager, but included Neolithic pottery and some flint tools. From surviving traces, the cairn was estimated to have been about 120 ft (36m) long.  No traces of the burials were found at the site.

For more information look here: http://www.stonepages.com/wales/pentreifan.html

 

Views of Pentre Ifan

 
"The region, the little valley on whose side stands the Pentre Ifan cromlech, the finest in Britain, is believed to have been a favourite place with the ancient Drulds. And in the oak groves (Ty Canol Wood) that still exist there, tradition says there was once a flourishing school for neophytes, and that the cromlech instead of being a place for internments or sacrifices was in those days completely enclosed, forming like other cromlechs a darkened chamber in which novices when initiated were placed for a certain number of days....the interior (of Pentre Ifan) being called the womb or court of Ceridwen." 

Ty Canol Wood. Fairyland...

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