Bryn Celli Ddu is a prehistoric site on the Welsh island of Anglesey located near Llanddaniel Fab. Its name means the mound in the dark grove. It was archaeologically excavated between 1928 and 1929. Visitors can get inside the mound through a stone passage to the burial chamber, and it is the centrepiece of a major Neolithic Scheduled Monument in the care of Cadw. The presence of a mysterious pillar within the burial chamber, the reproduction of the 'Pattern Stone', carved with sinuous serpentine designs, and the fact that the site was once a henge with a stone circle, and may have been used to plot the date of the summer solstice have all attracted much interest.

Bryn Celli Ddu is generally considered to be one of the finest passage tombs in Wales. Its passage and burial chamber are complete, and it is still buried under a mound or cairn. As it now stands, the passage is 8.4 m long, the first 3.4 m being unroofed with a pair of portal stones. The main passage has walls of vertical rock slabs, roofed by a series of stone lintels. The mound, being substantially smaller than as originally made, no longer completely encloses the burial chamber, so the back wall is open to the air, allowing some natural light in.

Free-standing inside the burial chamber is a smooth pillar of blueschist, a metamorphic rock, some 2 m high, with a very rounded shape. 

The earliest identified remains at the site are a row of five postholes previously thought to have been contemporary with the tomb. Radiocarbon dating of pine charcoal from two of the pits showed these to date from around 4000 BC, putting them at the end of the Mesolithic, 1,000 years before the next phase of use.

In around 3000 BC a henge monument was constructed. An outer circular bank and ditch would have defined the boundary, although only the ditch survives, some 21m across. Within this, a stone circle would have provided the focus for a site of ritual significance. A ring of 17 stones formed an oval, many being in matched pairs either side of the centre.



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Founded: 3000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

CoralJackz (2 months ago)
An amazing place, but... when we first visited Bryn Celli Ddu, we were still under the impression that it was a genuine neolithic site that had been faithfully uncovered. So it was quite disappointing to notice the concrete beams and read about the removal of carved stones, replaced with replicas. As many ancient sites across Britain have been lost to neglect, we can at least appreciate that this site has been preserved in some way... Sadly, what we see today is more of an 'artists interpretation' rather than an genuine reconstruction. When it was excavated, in the 1920's, the site was a simple henge/dolmen which now makes up the main chamber. This dolmen was deconstructed and then put back together using modern techniques. There was no covering mound, or walled in chamber, but earth and rocks present on top of the capstone added to the theory that at some point in it's existence it was covered. Earth works around the site indicated the possible edge of a large circular mound, so they took this as loose inspiration and decided to recreate a small version, and in doing so establish a tourist attraction...
Marta Williams (3 months ago)
I was left speechless. What a fantastic monument. Will definitely visit in the summer. The path is a bit muddy at first, but do not get discouraged. A nice gravel path is laid for most of the way there. It's free to visit, no opening times as far as I gather. If you like neolithic monuments, this one is for you!
Isaac Bryan (3 months ago)
This ~2000BC Celtic site is one of the most incredible prehistoric locations that one can visit in the UK. Tucked away on the side of a minor road, out in the sticks of Anglesey, the mound is accessible by use of a free parking area and a public footpath that leads the way. Both the car park and the mound have many boards up, displaying various interesting tidbits about the people who built the burial mound and the construction of the mound itself. It's always incredibly quiet so if you enjoy a peaceful trip through time, this is one the best choices around.
Celina Horak (6 months ago)
Very interested burial place (5000 years old) sorrounded by nice lanscape (including lots of cow). Around 10 minutes walk from road, trough a nice tray.
WattoPhotos (6 months ago)
An amazing place to visit and it is free to visit there is also free parking around a 5 min walk from the tomb. The fact you can walk inside is a bonus I would recommend a visit to this place I have been a few times but this time I took my camera to film a longer video.
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