Trust Regional Historic Environment Record
Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber, Aberffraw
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 3032 Trust : Gwynedd Community : Aberffraw Unitary authority : Ynys Mon NGR : SH32897072 Site Type (preferred type first) : Neolithic CHAMBERED TOMB Status : Scheduled Monument , Cared for by the State
Summary : Barclodiad y Gawres is a cruciform passage grave related to the famous tombs of the Boyne valley, Ireland. Originally consisting of a long narrow passage leading to a central chamber and 3 lower side chambers covered by a large circular mound, it is now partially restored and has been re-roofed with a concrete capping. Five of the stones which make up the walls of the chamber are decorated with abstract designs including spirals, zigzags and lozenges.
Excavations in 1952-3 by T.G.E.Powell and G.E.Daniel revealed that a fire in the centre of the chamber had been quenched by a stew containing the bones of reptiles, fish and small animals, which were then covered with limpet shells.
Description : The mound was originally 90ft in diameter; entrance to the chamber was from the north side by way of a passage flanked by upright stone slabs. The passage was about 20ft long and all of the roofing slabs have been removed. In the passage the small standing stone in a niche in the left hand wall should be noted. The central burial chamber was approx. polygonal in plan and some 12ft across. Three subsidiary chambers opened off the central chamber, one directly in front and one on either side. The right hand chamber retains its original blocking device of several slabs shutting it off from the central chamber. In this was found a cremated bone and portions of broken pins. The central chamber contained a hearth but was not used for actual burial purposes. Open cliff site excavated, rebuilt and re-roofed with a concrete dome in 1952-3. <1>
A mound 32m in diameter has been constructed over the remains of the burial chamber to represent the original mound. It is 3.6m high with a glass top to illuminate the interior. The entrance in the N side is a reconstruction. <2>
As described, contains stones with patterns on them. <3>
Decorated stones as described RCAHM. A cairn lies 130m NNW of the chamber and was partly excavated in 1953. An assemblage of Mesolithic flints have been found in the field E of the chamber. <5>
Excavated and restored. Because of its size it would have been quite visible locally but would have been most prominent when viewed from the sea and the location is probably related to a boat landing place in Porth Trecastell. (Smith, 2003)