Pentre Ifan contains and gives its name to the largest and best preserved neolithic dolmen in Wales. As it now stands, the Pentre Ifan Dolmen is a collection of seven principal stones. The largest is the huge capstone, 5 m long, 2.4 m wide and 0.9 m thick. It is estimated to weigh 16 tonnes and rests on the tips of three other stones, some 2.5 m off the ground. There are six upright stones, three of which support the capstone. Of the remaining three, two portal stones form an entrance and the third, at an angle, appears to block the doorway.

The dolmen dates from around 3500 BC, and has traditionally been identified as a communal burial. Under this theory the existing stones formed the portal and main chamber of the tomb, which would originally have been covered by a large mound of stones about 30 m long and 17 m wide. Some of the kerbstones, marking the edge of the mound, have been identified during excavations. The stone chamber was at the southern end of the long mound, which stretched off to the north. Very little of the material that formed the mound remains. Some of the stones have been scattered, but at least seven are in their original position. An elaborate entrance façade surrounding the portal, which may have been a later addition, was built with carefully constructed dry stone walling. Individual burials are thought to have been made within the stone chamber, which would be re-used many times. No traces of bones were found in the tomb, raising the possibility that they were subsequently transferred elsewhere.



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Founded: 3500 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Pruthvisinh Raj (12 months ago)
Great location for Photography ?. Fully natural. We can see only land so far. Beautiful. To reach location narrow road as well narrow pedestrian walk. 4 to 5 car parking space. Open 24/7 free.
Jumping Tree (jumpingtree) (15 months ago)
This place is magic. There are very small winding roads to reach this ceremonial burial place with a great view to te sea at the far end. The place is reachable with two gates that protect the site from grazing animals. The top stone does weigh approximately 16 tons. It is incredible how it was possible to move and manouver such heavy weights more than 9000 years ago. Lovely inspiring place to visit. (Free entrance)
Alan Sutton (15 months ago)
Fascinating history and larger than expected. In a great location but with very limited parking. We'll worth a visit.
Ben George (16 months ago)
A rare opportunity to visit something truly ancient and of such significant size. It is believed that this monument has stood upon this site for over 5,000 years! There is car and bicycle parking next to the road and the site can be found at the end of a short, flat walk of around 100metres or so.
Suzanne Lewis (19 months ago)
Visited Pentre Ifan burial stones recently it was so peaceful with just the farm animals around and spectacular views. We used Google maps as its not easy to find but worth a quick visit if your in the area.
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