Pentre Ifan

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Pentre Ifan side view
View of the portal
How it might have looked

The Pentre Ifan dolmen is the largest and best preserved neolithic dolmen in Wales.[1] It is on the ancient manor of Pentre Ifan in the civil parish of Nevern, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The manor was the home of the Bowen family going back to the 11th century.[2] Being built around 3,500 B.C.

History[change | change source]

This monument is recorded as Coflein NPRN 101450, which tells us: " Pentre Ifan is perhaps the finest surviving Neolithic tomb in Wales and forms one of a group of Portal Dolmens built around the tributaries of the Nevern Valley approximately 6,000 years ago".

The capstone is said to weigh around 16 tons and points at the Nevern River. From the east side of the site looking west the capstone follows almost the exact same angle as the northern slope of Carningli mountain, both leading your eyes to the mouth of the Nevern estuary at Newport.

The dolmen dates from about 3,500 B.C. It may have been used for group burials. The existing stones form the door, called a portal and main chamber of the tomb. These would have been covered with a large stone mound about 36.6 m long and 17 m wide.[3] Some of the stones have been scattered, but at least seven are in their original position. The capstone is 5.1 m in length, and is thought to to weigh 16 tonnes, and rises 2.4 m above the ground. It is held up by the narrow tips of three uprights. These stones make a chamber that is 3 m long, 2 m wide and 3 m high. A large stone has been used to block the entrance.

The facade around the portal is a carefully built dry stone wall.

William Francis Grimes carried out archaeological diggings at the site in 1936/1937 and 1958/1959.[4] Small pieces of flint and pottery were discovered during these digs. This are also signs that there may have been holes dug for some sort of ritual purpose long before the dolmen was set up.

The dolmen is owned and looked after by Cadw,[5] the Welsh Historic Monuments Agency. The site is well-kept and entrance is free. It is about 17 km from Cardigan. It has views down the Nevern Valley to the sea.

References[change | change source]

  1. "PENTRE IFAN CHAMBERED TOMB, NEAR NEVERN". 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  2. "Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber". 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  3. "Pentre Ifan". Wondermondo.
  4. "Pentre Ifan". Welsh Rock Art Organisation. 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  5. "Cadw website". Archived from the original on 2011-08-21. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

Other websites[change | change source]

Coordinates: 51°59′56″N 4°46′12″W / 51.9990°N 4.7700°W / 51.9990; -4.7700