The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
Trust Historic Environment Record
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HESTON BRAKE CHAMBERED TOMB
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01147g Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Portskewett Unitary authority : Monmouthshire NGR : ST50538867 Site Type (preferred type first) : Neolithic Chambered tomb Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : An excavated chambered tomb situated on natural summit within a pasture field. The monument is aligned NE-SW; 2 upright orthastats define the E end and a horseshoe-shaped chamber to the W. The E chamber has 3 stones remaining. One stone bears cupmarks.
Description : Please note that some of the sources contain information that, as yet, has not been included in this description field. This will be updated in due course.
An excavated chambered tomb situated on natural summit within a pasture field. The monument is aligned NE-SW; 2 upright orthastats define the E end and a horseshoe-shaped chamber to the W. The E chamber has 3 stones remaining. It is difficult to determine the mound's perimeter as it takes advantage of a steep slope to the N and the undulating topography to the S. The S of the 2 E orthastats is triangular in plan; several cup-marks are visible on the stone's level top (PRN 09715g). The N orthastat is a sub-rectangular in plan. Around the base of the 2 E orthastats is a compact surface of small stones. The W chamber is the best defined, with its open end facing the 2 E orthastats. Visible in the first S stone of the horseshoe chamber is a hole which appears to have been artificially bored through the stone. The 4th N stone of the horseshoe has another hole bored through the N side, this hole however has not breached the interior side of the stone. The N-S alignment of these peculiar holes may hold some cosmological significance. Dimensions: diameter 22m x2.2m; height 1.5m (max)
(1951) Excavation in 1888 revealed two chambers lying east and west and connected internally. The eastern chamber is 13ft by 5ft2" and has two large stones at its entrance, considerably higher than others at the site. The W chamber is 9ft by 4ft10". Two of its largest stones, nearly opposite each other, have diagonally pierced holes about 1ft diameter, possibly artificial in the case of the stone on the S side. The W chamber contained part of a human skull and other fragments of bone, while in the E chamber, human teeth and finger bones, bones of an ox, and two smooth round stones were discovered. Three pieces of broken pottery were found on the N side of the mound: One piece was black and soft burnt, another was grey, hard burnt with lines (both of these probably relics of sepulchral urns), and the third was a piece of very hard red ware possibly Roman Samian. Nearby was found a piece of burnt bone - these finds indicate secondary burials. The remains discovered durng the excavation are now in the National Museum of Wales. (Source 01)
(1957) The barrow is 25m long with an average width of 12m and an average height of 1m. It is heavily covered with shrub and bramble and is situated on a large natural mound. It is difficult to separate natural from artificial slopes and there are no visible side ditches. The stones of the chambers are as shown except that the fire stone in the SW of the eastern chambrs are grass and soil covered. (Source 02)
(1987) The long barrow is situated on the summit of a small knoll in the middle of a pasture field. The knoll has a steep scarp to the N and slopes more gently on the other sides. On top of this, aligned WNW-ESE is the long barrow. The N side slopes steeply, and is 2.2m high, the S side less steeply and is 1.8m high. It is c.20m long. In the middle, on the summit, is a rectangular alignment of stones. At the E end are two uprights. That to the N is of conglomerate, and is c.1.6m high, 0.5m wide, and 0.6m across, tapering at the top. That to the S is of sandstone, and is 0.7m high and roughly triangular in section, each side being 0.7m wide. About 4m to the W is a small chamber enclosed by stones 0.3-0.7m high, lying flat. The E end is open. Brambles around the stones have been cut down. There is a large stone on the S side with a hole right through it, and another on the N side with a hole almost through it. There are two stones along the S side, two enclosing the W side and four along the N side. (Source 03) GGAT 72 Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites Project 2003
Pearson, A F and Lewis, R , 2003 , Prehistoric funerary and ritual sites. Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan
05/Desc Text/Cadw/Full Management Report/2005/Copy in further information file
Pm desc text/Pearson, A and Lewiss, R/2003/GGAT 72 Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites Project
01/PM Desc Text/Grimes WF/1951/Prehist. Of Wales/p.159
02/MM Record Card/OS/1957/ST58NW5/
03//MM Desc Text/Cadw AM107/Whittle E/1987/AM107