Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Regional Historic Environment Record

Din Dryfol Burial Chamber

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 2528
Trust : Gwynedd
Site Type : CHAMBERED TOMB
Period : Neolithic
Community : Aberffraw
NGR : SH39577249
Legal Protection : Scheduled Ancient Monument

Summary :
Din Dryfol burial chamber was excavated by F. Lynch in the late 1970s. Unfortunately it had been largely destroyed over time, but the excavations nonetheless revealed that it had been of multi-period construction, like Trefignath burial chamber near Holyhead.

The first chamber to be built was rectangular in shape and located at the western end of the current monument. The entrance stones to this chamber and the stones on its north side are still standing.

A second chamber was constructed to the east of the earliest tomb. All that is left of this now is a fallen side stone, which was once part of a second rectangular chamber. Unusually, there were wooden posts at the entrance to this chamber. The chambers would have been covered by a long, narrow mound (cairn), and there was once a stone facade running up to the wooden portal.

Some time later, the cairn and chambers were extended to the east, with a 3 metre high portal stone at the entrance. It appears that the access between the three chambers was never blocked, unlike Trefignath.

Finds from the site included a number of small flint tools, and some sherds of Neolithic pottery.

Description :
Din Dryfol burial chamber, scheduled. <1>

Much ruined remains of a gallery grave orientated roughly E-W, about 45ft long, with a large portal stone on S side of E end. Hemp found a stone hole with packing stones to the N of E end and in a position corresponding to the existing one on the S side (personal communication and RCAHM Anglesey P2). In an early description Prichard describes two holes in the ground 13 ft to the S of the W end of the gallery where, he says, formally stood a trilithon. No longer any trace of those holes and the existence of this trilithon must be considered doubtful. There remain no traces of a barrow. <2> <3> <4>

The remains of the gallery grave orientated NE-SW, consists of a large orthostat 2.7m high in the NE, with a smaller slab leaning against its S side. 3.0m SW of this orthostat are the remains of a chamber with a capstone some 2.0m x 1.5m. No trace of cairn. Site in the process of excavation by F. M. Lynch. Finds consist of pottery sherds and flint flakes (see photos). <5>

The remains extend over a distance of 48ft and appear to indicate a long segmented 'gallery' of Cashtal-yn-Ard (Isle of Man) type, but without the facade. A reasonable comparison on Anglesey is Hen Drefor (see plans). <6>

Excavations in 1969-70 and 1980 revealed remains of overlying cairn which had originally measured between 47m and 62m long and about 14m wide. <7> <8> <9>

Surviving features (see plan) include a high entrance stone and a leaning stone behind it, suggesting possible duplicated entrance portal. This area largely destroyed by 18th-19th century quarry road through the site. Chamber area indicated probably four burial chambers within its length although first two had almost been destroyed. Finds included fragments of cremated bone, flint scrapers, part of polished stone axe, sherds of undecorated burnished pottery, iron slag, charcoal and pottery related to Romano-British disturbance. <10>

The remains of a gallery grave partly destroyed in the 18th/19th century. The remains now consist of a large orthostat 2.7m high and a smaller parallel stone. 9m to the south of this is the collapsed remains of a chamber with a fallen capstone 2x1.5m. Excavated by F. M. Lynch. Siting: on a natural ledge on the north slope of Dinas. <16>

Sources :
Craster, O. E. , 1958 , Ancient Monuments of Anglesey , <1>
Daniel, G. , 1950 , Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales , <2>
Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments , 1937 , Anglesey , <3>
Prichard, H. , 1871 , Archaeologia Cambrensis , <4>
Ordnance Survey , 1970 , SH37SE 1 , <5>
Lynch, F. , 1969 , Megalithic Enquiries in Western Britain , <6>
Lynch, F. , 1969 , Archaeology in Wales , <7>
Lynch, F. , 1970 , Archaeology in Wales , <8>
Lynch, F. , 1980 , Archaeology in Wales , <9>
Ordnance Survey , 1981 , SH37SE 1 , <10>
Davidson, A. , 1991 , SAM An 008 , <11>
Lynch, F. , 1991 , Prehistoric Anglesey , <12>
Davidson, A. , 1986 , Din Dryfol Burial Chamber SAM An 008 , <13>
Lynch, F. & Smith, C. A. , 1987 , Trefignath and Din Dryfol , <14>
Baynes, E. N. , 1911 , The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , <15>
Smith, G. , 2003 , Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Monument Survey: West Gwynedd & Anglesey , <16>
Longley, D. & Yates, M. , 2001 , Anglesey: A Guide to Ancient Monuments on the Isle of Anglesey , <17>

Events :
40526 : Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Monument Survey: West Gwynedd/Anglesey (year : 2003)
42446 : Prn 2520 Gat Site Visit (year : 1989)
42446 : Din Dryfol Excavation (year : 1980)
42447 : An 008 Fmw Site Visit (year : 1986)
42448 : An 008 Fmw Site Visit (year : 1991)

Related PRNs :


The above data are supplied by GAT in partnership with its Local Authorities (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd County Councils, and Snowdonia National Park Authority), © GAT 2014 (and in part © Crown, 2014 - as indicated)
This information is supplied for the purposes of personal interest only and may not be used as part of a commercial project.

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