Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

Anglesey, United Kingdom

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber


Bryn Celli Ddu Welsh pronunciation: [brʌn keːɬi ðɨː] 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, reinstated following its excavation in 1929. (Many stone chambered cairns have lost these features.) As it now stands, the passage is 8.4 m (28 ft) long, the first 3.4 m (11 ft) 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 The mound, being substantially smaller than as originally made, no longer completely encloses the burial chamber, so the back wall is open to the air, allowing some natural light in.

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