Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chambers – Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales - Atlas Obscura

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Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chambers

Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales

Neolithic burial chambers hidden beside a village school. 


Dyffryn Ardudwy is located on a hillside, tucked between a housing estate and a school. It’s a location that can be easily missed. The site goes by various names including; Arthur’s Quoit, Carreg Arthur, and Coaten Arthur. 

It’s believed that the burial chambers were erected between 3000 and 1900 B.C., likely as a shared burial place for the early community that was established in the area. It appears the site originally offered views of the sea before the modern town was developed. The pair of tombs, or cromlech, at this Neolithic burial site were built in two different stages. 

The smaller chamber to the west was built first. This dolmen featured two portal stones, one of which has a small prehistoric cup-mark and a high blocking slab with a capstone resting on top. It was roughly oval in shape with a length of just over eight feet (2.7 meters). The ceiling was a flat, large capstone and the entire chamber was covered with a cairn of small stones. In front of the entrance to this tomb, a pit was dug where several smaller flat stones were established. Pottery fragments and charcoal were found at this location during excavations.

The larger tomb to the east was built later and had a shape similar to a regular quadrilateral. The entrance to the tomb was on the east side. The tomb was covered with a trapezoidal mound of earth and stones with an edge enclosed with smaller stones, which enveloped its earlier neighbor. This later tomb has produced both Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery during excavations, other finds included a broken stone pendant.

Know Before You Go

Parking is problematic, you'll most likely have to park on a nearby street and walk. There is a short footpath of 100 yards leading off the A496 to the burial chamber. 

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October 25, 2021

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