Neolithic tomb site, Crickhowell

button-theme-prehistoric-moreBeside the A40 road are the visible remains of a Neolithic burial tomb which was erected c.3750 BC, on top of the remains of an earlier settlement. If you’ve just scanned the QR codes at the entrance to the grounds of The Manor (former home of George Everest), walk a short distance westwards to see the stones.

The tomb consisted of four chambers inside a large cairn, which formed a wedge-shaped mound 45 metres long. Passages led into each chamber from the sides of the mound – a layout found at tombs elsewhere in the Brecon Beacons and in the Cotswolds. The stone slab which roofed one of the tomb’s chambers was removed for archaeological exploration in 1804.

Archaeologists from the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust excavated the site in 1977-78, when the A40 was realigned a little to the south. Previously the road lay on top of the tomb’s western and northern edges.

CPAT believes the tomb was used for about 500 years as a communal burial place. No human remains were found during the 1970s dig but may have been removed earlier, e.g. in 1804. Neolithic arrowheads and polished stone tools were discovered.

In the soil beneath the cairn, archaeologists found flint points, or microliths, which suggest that the site was used by humans c.5900 BC to c.5600 BC. Later remains, including traces of a timber structure, indicated that there was a small settlement here before the tomb was erected. Cereal grains found in the soil were evidence of early farming.

With thanks to the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust

Postcode: NP8 1SE    View Location Map