Chambered tombs

Long Barrows


Passage Graves

Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites in Southeast Wales

The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd.

For a technical description of how the work for this project was carried out click on the link below. Technical Report

Download a pdf version of the Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites in Southeast Wales report.



Chambered Tomb Gallery


Cae Tor chambered tomb

Cae Tor chambered tomb at Tithegston near Porthcawl, Bridgend, still retains its mound which is pear-shaped. The capstone to the chamber can be seen towards the wider end of the mound. The hills northwest of Bridgend can be seen in the background; in the other direction is the sea.

Cae tor 2

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A close-up of Cae Tor showing the capstone of the chamber sticking out of the side of the mound.

The two main groups of chambered tombs found in this part of Wales are what archaeologists call Dolmens and Passage Graves. The chambers of dolmens were constructed using a few very large stones (called orthostats) to support the capstone. In contrast the internal arrangements of passage graves more elaborate, with an entrance passage, perhaps leading from a forecourt to the chamber or chambers which are usually built of smaller orthostats. However, the construction was not standardised and there is a lot of variation.

St. Lythams

DOLMENS There is a fine example of a dolmen, called Gwal-y-filiast, at Maesyfelin, St Nicholas, in the Vale of Glamorgan. This is shown in the photograph on the left. It still has its capstone in place, resting on three orthostats to make the chamber. There would have been a mound over the chamber, but it may have left part of the capstone showing. This mound has now disappeared.

Parc le Breos

PASSAGE GRAVES The Parc le Breos chambered tomb on Gower, Swansea is a good example of a passage grave. On the right-hand side the forecourt can be seen leading to the entrance. The orhtostats which form the sides of the passage and chambers can be seen sticking up above the stones of the mound, which is kept in place by a retaining wall. It continues into the left-hand side of the photograph, where it is hidden in the shadows. Comparing it with other tombs of the same type, we think that the mound would have originally been much taller, and would have completely covered all the chambers.

To see more pictures of chambered tombs follow the link. Chambered Tomb Gallery