Map Reference SN03NE
Grid Reference SN09943701
Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire
Old County Pembrokeshire
Type of Site CHAMBERED TOMB
Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY
Site Description Pentre Ifan is perhaps the finest surviving Neolithic tomb in Wales and forms one of a group of Portal Dolmens built around the tributaries of the Nevern Valley approximately 6,000 years ago. Its chamber is formed by a capstone of around 16 tonnes upheld on three uprights about 2.5m high at one end of a cairn some 30 m long. The tomb was excavated by W F Grimes in 1936-7, who thought that it was heavily influenced by prehistoric contacts with Ireland. More recent research suggests the tomb was an indigenous creation by the local communities but may have been nonetheless influenced by Irish culture and contact during a later stage of its use, when the long mound, long since eroded away, was extended. Finds from Pentre Ifan, as from other Welsh prehistoric tombs, were meagre, numbering a few shards of pottery from a shouldered bowl and a triangular flint arrowhead. Its present appearance, as a gaunt freestanding structure supporting a delicately balanced capstone, may never have been witnessed by the communities who later used it. Instead, it is thought that the whole structure was covered in a massive mound or cairn of stones with access to the chamber permitted only through the door or ‘portal’ at the south end.
It is a monument in the Welsh Assembly Government’s guardianship and has public access.
Disabled visitor and companion admitted free