Parc Le Breos Cwm
Neolithic Chambered Long Cairn
Penmaen, Gower Peninsula, Wales  OS Map Ref SS537898
OS Maps - Landranger 159 (Swansea & Gower), Explorer 164 (Gower)

Parc Le Breos Cwm
This Long Cairn, also known as the Giant's Grave, was built on the banks of a stream that now runs underground and is a fine example of a 'Cotswold-Severn' transepted gallery tomb similar in design to the tombs of Belas Knap and Stoney Littleton nearly a hundred miles away on the other side of the River Severn.

The wedge shaped cairn measures nearly 20 metres in length and was built of rocks and cobbles edged with drystone walling with a deep horned forecourt at its southern end that leads to a 5 metre gallery with a pair of chambers on either side. These chambers were found to contain the remains of around twenty-four bodies as well as pottery sherds and animal bones (which predated the tomb and could have come from the nearby caves) and would originally have been covered with either one large or several smaller capstones - these stones have now disappeared. The site dates from the Neolithic, around 3500BC, and was first investigated in 1859 and again in the early 1960's when it was partly restored.

Its position seems unusual - it sits on gently sloping ground in a valley whose sides rise around 40 metres above it and would have been hidden in the landscape unless viewed from the immediate hillsides or from along the banks of the stream. It now stands in a clearing in woodland and next to a track that leads northwest from the watermill at Parkmill to Cathole Rock Cave. This limestone cave in the valley side about 30 metres higher than Parc Le Breos was occupied during the Ice Age, possibly as a hunting camp, and then reused for burials during the Bronze Age.
Parc Le Breos Cwm - drystone walling Detail of entrance and drystone walling
Parc Le Breos Cwm Plan
Cathole Cave
Left: Plan of the site from 'Rude Stone Monuments in All Countries Their Ages and Uses' by James Ferguson 1872. Right: Entrance to Cathole Cave.

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