Pant y Saer

Set on a limestone plateau overlooking Tynygongl, south of Benllech, this burial chamber was built on a site with magnificent panoramic views over Anglesey, Red Wharf Bay and the Snowdonia mountains in the distance. Unfortunately, the area has become overgrown in the past few years, impinging on the views, and vegetation is beginning to swallow up the tomb.

This relatively small tomb, with the chamber about 2m square, has three upright slabs that support a capstone, which has slumped down in the back. The structure was built within a 1m deep pit that was carved out of the solid limestone outcrop. It was originally covered with a kidney-shaped mound, surrounded by a wall of limestone and gritstone blocks.

The interior of the chamber was investigated in 1874 when a cist containing the bones of two humans was discovered and removed. This cist had rested on a flat slab floor of the chamber. When more extensive excavations were done in 1932, it was discovered that this slab covered a large number of older burials, totalling 54 men, women and children. Nine of these were full-term foetuses, suggesting that they, and perhaps their mothers, had died in childbirth.

Besides the human remains, flint and chert arrow heads and Neolithic pottery sherds were found within the tomb. More pottery and some animal bones were found in the forecourt before the entrance; perhaps these were offerings laid at the entrance. The style of pottery suggests this tomb dates from the Middle Neolithic. The later burial cist removed in 1874 may have been added in the early Bronze Age.

Photographs of the 1932 excavation of this tomb can be seen on the Coflein site, run by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. This monument can be reached via the footpath running from the Benllech-Llangefni road, as shown in the map below.

Return to Prehistoric monuments of Anglesey

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Last modified 2 January, 2017