Europe / Pic of the Week / Wales

Pic of the Week, May 29, 2015: Pentre Ifan, Wales

UK 171 – Pentre Ifan 3

One of the most fascinating things about traveling in the British Isles are its many historic sites, such as Pentre Ifan.  This is the most popular megalithic site in Wales and was thought to be a burial chamber.  The monument dates to about 3500 BC and is oriented north-south on a ridge providing wonderful views of the Nevern Valley.  It has an  elegant capstone (16 tons; 5m (16ft 6in) long), resting on the tips of three other stones, some  2.5 metres (8.2 ft) off the ground.  There are six upright stones, three of which support the capstone.

It is likely that an earthen mound lay behind these rocks, which people could enter and which, over the centuries, has largely been eroded away.  Excavations in 2oth century showed that a burial chamber originally lay within a shallow oval pit that was up to 36m (120ft) long. No trace of burials was found here, but  it is reasonable to assume that such a large tomb would have been used for collective burials.

Local legend has it that fairies may be seen here.  I didn’t see any, but would like to think that if fairies do exist, this would be where they reside!


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