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Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey

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OS Grid: SH50757018                  Lat/Long: 53.207672N 4.236237W

Bryn Celli Ddu – the Mound in the Dark Grove – is probably the best-known monument on Anglesey, and one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain. First explored seriously in 1865, the tomb was thoroughly excavated in 1928-29.

The monument seems to have begun in the later Neolithic as a ‘henge‘, or ritual enclosure. It consisted of a bank (now lost) around an inner ditch, which enclosed a circle of upright stones. The ditch originally measured 69 feet (21m) in diameter, and was 17 feet (5.2m) wide and 6 feet (1.8m) deep. Its outer edge can still be seen and several stones from the inner stone circle also survive.

At a later date, towards the end of the Neolithic, the henge made way for a passage grave, a type of burial monument found around the Irish seaboard and as far afield as Brittany.

A new stone burial chamber was constructed within the henge and was covered by a substantial mound that extended into the ditch, obscuring the earlier stone circle. This mound must have been an impressive feature standing several feet in height and with a kerb of large stones around its base.

The present mound is only a partial reconstruction, but the original kerb can be seen within the henge ditch and this gives an impression of the former scale of the monument.

Text from: Yates, M.J. and Longley, D., “Anglesey: a Guide to Ancient Monuments on the Isle of Anglesey”, 2001, CADW, p. 31