Bryn Celli Ddu - Sarah Woodbury

Bryn Celli Ddu

Bryn Celli Ddu is located on Anglesey near Llanddaniel Fab. It means ‘the mound in the dark grove and is one of the finest prehistoric passage tombs in Wales.

The burial chamber was the last of a series of prehistoric sacred constructions. The first evidence of a site here are 6000 year old post holes, the purpose of which remains unknown. These were followed around 3000 BC by a henge, along with a circular bank and ditch. Then the mound and passage tomb which are still visible today were constructed. The passage is roughly aligned with the Summer Solstice sunrise, such that near sunlight shines on the back wall of the burial chamber. Individual human bones, both burnt and unburnt, have been found within the chamber and passage, indicating a variety of funeral practices and that the tomb was used again and again. Each time, the old remains were cleared away to make way for the new. Eventually, the tomb was blocked by a large stone, indicating it was never used again.

The passage is 28 feet long with walls of vertical rock slabs, roofed by a series of stone lintels. The mound now is substantially smaller than the original and no longer completely encloses the burial chamber. Inside is a free-standing six foot high blueschist, metamorphic rock, as well as a replica of the ‘Pattern Stone’ that was found buried under the mound, and has been put standing up in what is thought to have been its original location when the site was a henge rather than a tomb. The patterns take the form of sinuous serpentine shapes that wind around both sides of the stone. It’s purpose and meaning has been lost to time.

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