The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record

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Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00347w
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Community : Pontardawe
Unitary authority : Neath Port Talbot
NGR : SN6966806275
Site Type (preferred type first) : Neolithic Chambered tomb
Status : Scheduled Monument

Summary :
Site consists of a collection of sandstone slabs built into a complex arrangement whose details are not wholly clear. The largest slab (5.3x2.6x0.7m), generally interpreted as capstone, lies E-W flanked on N by slab nearly as large (4.2x 0.35x0.9m) stan

Description :
Site consists of a collection of sandstone slabs built into a complex arrangement whose details are not wholly clear. The largest slab (5.3x2.6x0.7m), generally interpreted as capstone, lies E-W flanked on N by slab nearly as large (4.2x 0.35x0.9m) standing on one of its sides. All other slabs are smaller. At the N end of the monument are two upright earthfast slabs (larger 1.8x0.9x0.25m) and another fallen one, forming an apsidal shape. Slab of intermediate size (3.5x2.6x0.2m) lies in an inclined position with its W end propped up on the E side of the capstone and its E end supported on a row of small boulders. To the S of the capstone is another slab of intermediate size lying E-W, with the N edge lower than the S edge. Other boulders and slabs in the vicinity (including the inclined slab) may form remains of a mound. Site is artificially embanked on to the W of the stones, on the W (downhill) side. 12.0m (N-S to end small stones) x 10.0m; ht c1.15m GGAT 72 Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites survey 2001. (1956) On a slight SW slope among large slabs of outcrop rock. The 'capstone' is 5.3m long, 2.5m wide and 0.7m thick and is oriented in an E - W direction. To the NE of the 'capstone' are five small slabs, two on edge , one inclined, and two lying flat. One of the large supporters is partly covered by the 'capstone', whilst another overlies the E end. Small surface diggings are visible around the S and W part of the site. In view of the position and the quantity of stone in this locality it is possible that the stones are a fortuitous natural outcrop. The large flat slabs have their parallels in several local outcrops, but there are no examples of upright slabs and it is noteworthy that these lean in towards the capstone. ( Source 05 )
(1968/1976) The huge central slab, 5.3m long by 2.4m wide by 0.8m thick was thought to be the capstone, formerly supported by the long slab resting vertically at its north side and by the slab lying adjacent on the south. The site has been variously rejected or accepted since then, apparently on the original assessment of the structure , the only additional comment being on the choice of site to take advantage of outcrop material.
The remains are more easily acceptable as a destroyed tomb if the supposed massive capstone and southern supporter are regarded as vitually undisturbed slabs, lying as they do in the same plane and orientation as nearby outcrops. The parallel vertical slab, after being deliberately turned from a similar natural position, could eqaullly well have been intended as the southern supporter of a chamber centred further north. The three earthfast stones, one leaning outwards, which were interpreted in the original account as the possible remains of a circle, would thus form the northern side of the tomb, supplemented by two further displaced slabs within.
The loose slab at the east, resting partly on the outcrop, can now be considerd as a genuine capstone. The form of the hollow beneath it, defined as it is by a rough wall of rounded stones at the east side, might allow its interpretation as an earthfast chamber with a poorly aligned, wedge-shaped forecourt. More probabaly, however, this is a more recent shelter, as suggested in the earliest account, the capstone having been displaced 3m eastwards from the nearest supporters, where it was originally accompanied by others which have been removed altogether.
The whole site has been extensively robbed and disturbed in recent times, particularly in the area to the south of the outcrop. Excavated soil has formed a misleading bank on the west, masking the more gradual natural slope of the ground. No trace of an original covering mound, which suggests that the structure may have been vulnerable as a source of large slabs even for the contruction of the nearby cairn circle (No.66). ( Source 04 )
(1985) Numerous smaller stones in the vicinity, in particular underneath the capstone as it now lies, suggest to me that there may have been a covering cairn, and the prescence of the bank to the west could also perhaps indicate this. I do not know on what ground RCAHM dismisses this as ' excavated soil ' . If there was a covering cairn, it would have been in the region of 15m in diameter. No edge is traceable to N,S or E. ( Source 13 )
(1989) No obvious change to the monument. RCAHM's suggestion of a chamber to the north of the main boulder certainly appears plausible. ( Source 16 )
(1996) The site appears unchanged. An opencast mine has been reconstituted as farmland ( complete with a standing stone ) (Source 01 )

Sources :
01/PM List/Cadw/1995/SAM Lists
01/ PM List/ CADW// Burnham/ HB/ 1996/ AM 107C
02/ PH Desc text// Morgan/ WH/ 1899/ Ant survey of E Gower/ p 46 .8
03/ PM Desc text// Daniel/ G/ 1950/ Pre historic Chambered Tombs/ p 211
04/ PM desc text// RCAHM// 1976/ Glam Invent/ p30 No. 31
05/ MM Record card/ OS/// 1957/ SN 60 NE 13
06/ PM list/ / Grimes/ WF/ 1931/ BBCS/ Vol. VI , Pt 1 , pp 88 - 89
07/ PH Mention// Stanley/ WO/ 1868/ Arch Camb/ 3rd Series Vol XIV p 217 - 293
08/ PH Mention// Stanley/ WO/ 1865/ Arch Journal/ Vol LXXIV
09/ PM // Gwynne Morgan/ Dr. J./ 1982/ Swansea Valley Hist Soc./ No. 15 ' History of the local cairns and cromlechs ' p 8 - 9
10/ PM Mention // Gwynne Morgan/ Dr. J./1982/ Swansea Valley Hist Soc./ No. 17 ' A guide to Local History ' p 3
11/ MM Record card/ OS/// 1982/ SN 60 NE 13/
12/ PM Desc text// Christy Davies/ J/ 1982/ Gower Journal XXXIII/ Clydach/
13/ MM Desc text/ CADW/ Burnham/ HB/ 21.5.85// AM 7 78 A
14/ PM Desc text/ Grimes/ WF/ 1984/ Glam County Hist Vol II/ p 150 - 151/
15/ MMAP/ NMR - RCAHM/ Musson C./ 1988/ 88 - 5 - 4/
16/ MM Desc text// CADW// Burnham/ HB/ 1989/ AM 107 78A/
17/ MMAP/ RCAHM// 1992// A 118 - 52

Events :

Related PRNs : 355w

Compiled date :

November 17, 2018, 5:11 pm - HTML file produced from GGAT HER Charitable Trust Ltd. Heathfield House, Heathfield, Swansea SA1 Tel. 01792 655208; Fax 01792 474469 website:  email: Registered Charity no. 505609
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