Neolithic Chambered Cairn
Southwest of Llangefni, Anglesey OS Map Ref SH39577249
OS Maps - Landranger 114 (Anglesey), Explorer 263 (Anglesey East)
Din Dryfol - remains of the western chamber in the foreground and eastern portal stone behind.
A rather sad collection of stones, Din Dryfol is the remains of a multi period Neolithic chambered tomb. When construction finally finished on the site it would have consisted of a line of three linked chambers in the form of a long gallery and indeed it is related to similar monuments more common in Ireland known as gallery graves. Today only the battered remains one of these chambers and a portal from another are left on site but excavations in the late 1960's and again in the late 70's have allowed us to piece together the form and sequence of construction of the tombs.
The first thing to notice is that Din Dryfol was built on a level platform on the western lower slopes of a prominent rock outcrop that is oriented northeast to southwest and the tomb shares its orientation with the hill that hosts it. To the southwest of this platform the first chamber in the sequence was constructed using side slabs and a capstone creating a rectangular stone box measuring about 3 metres long, a metre wide and about 2 metres tall. It is the remains of this initial chamber that can be seen in the foreground of the pictures above and below although only one of the side slabs and a couple of small upright stones supporting the partly collapsed capstone remain.
The next chamber was added to the northeast and although nothing now remains, excavations revealed the existence of a pair of postholes that could either have formed a wooden portal to the chamber or could have been the site of a mortuary structure.
The final chamber to the built, again at the northeast end was the largest at about 5 metres in length and again nothing remains except a single small upright and a large portal portal stone measuring nearly 3 metres tall (in the background of the photographs) together with the stump of what was probably the other portal.
There is no remaining trace of the cairn that would have covered these chambers but it is likely to have started out as a circular mound around the initial chamber before being extended to incorporate the new chambers as they were built and the excavations suggest that eventually it extended for between 60-70 metres and had a width of about 15 metres.
Din Dryfol - the western chamber with the capstone still supported on one upright.
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