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Paul Sampson News :: Pentre Ifan Neolithic Burial Site

Posted: 10/31/2011 9:49:35 AM   Page Views 1173   Comments 0

The Pentre Ifan Neolithic Burial Chamber, near Cardigan in West Wales, UK.

Boasting some spectacular views over the north Pembrokeshire countryside this awe-inspiring chambered tomb of the so-called 'portal dolmen' type, stands in a commanding position north east of Carningli Mountain.

The dolmen is more than 5000 years old and was probably used as a communal burial site. The stones form the portal and main chamber and would originally been covered with a large stone mound that was roughly 36 x 17 metres in size.

The tour guide at a nearby Iron Age village put this structure into perspective for me when she explained that Iron Age villagers would have found Pentre Ifan as ancient, mysterious and fascinating as The Pyramids are for us now!

The capstone is more than 5 metres long and estimated to weigh 16 tonnes. From some angles the stones have a weighty and imposing appearance, rooted to the earth, but from others the capstone can look almost delicate and wing-like. It appears almost suspended above the ground as it is supported on just the narrow tips of three upright stones.

A visit to this site gives a vivid impression of the ingenuity, commitment and determination of the people who constructed this tomb. The effort must have been extraordinary without the benefits of heavy lifting equipment and demonstrates the importance they placed on marking the passing of their cherished loved ones.

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