Ike sees Pentre Ifan Neolithic Tomb

Ike goes looking for ancient monuments.

Today Ike went to the North of the county of Pembrokeshire.  It’s often forgotten about by visitors who tend to congregate around the honeypot sites of Tenby and Saundersfoot.  We travelled from Haverfordwest to Nevern on the B4329 that took us over the Preseli Hills.  Ike stopped off at two interestingly-named places on the way before visiting Nevern. We went on to the ancient burial site of Pentre Ifan.

Ike à la recherche des monuments anciens. Aujourd’hui Ike est allé au nord du comté du Pembrokeshire. C’est souvent oublié par les touristes qui ont tendance à se rassembler autour des sites de Tenby et Saundersfoot. Nous avons voyagé de Haverfordwest à Nevern sur le B4329 dans les collines Preseli. Ike a visité deux endroits intéressants pendant le voyage avant d’aller à Nevern. Puis nous sommes allés à l’ancien site funéraire de Pentre Ifan.

Ike sucht nach antiken Denkmälern. Heute fuhr Ike in den Norden der Grafschaft Pembrokeshire. Der Norden wird oft von Besuchern vergessen, die dazu neigen, sich nur auf Tenby und Saundersfoot zu konzentrieren. Wir reisten von Haverfordwest nach Nevern auf der B4329, die uns über die Preseli Hills führte. Ike besichtigte auf dem Weg zwei Stellen mit interessanten Namen. Wir fuhren weiter zur alten Grabstätte von Pentre Ifan.

Translation by Sharon Williams at Languages For Living.

This is not the only village in Wales called Bethlehem.  There is another one in Carmarthenshire whose Post Office does a lot of business around Christmas time as people get their Christmas cards franked there.  There is also a Nasareth (Nazareth) in North Wales.  These names are all a legacy of the nonconformist Chapel culture in Wales. 

Ike also stopped in Woodstock (Wystog in Welsh) for a party with some friends.  A lot of English names of Welsh places are mispronunciations of the Welsh.  Woodstock was a turnpike on the main Cardigan to Haverfordwest road. 

The road took Ike over the Preseli Hills.  They are often referred to locally as the Preseli Mountains, but they are not tall enough to be mountains according to the Ordnance Survey definition, which requires a height of 2000ft or 609.6m for monutain status. The Preseli Hills come in a little short at 536m.

The Preseli Hills have been used by people for thousands of years including for quarrying as you can see in the background of the photo above.  More on the Preseli Hills another day. 

Ike and companions then went onto Nevern, to visit the little village that has a famous Celtic Cross dating from the 11th century.  The cross is located in the grounds of the church of St Brynach.  There has been a church on the site since the 6th Century. It was once on the old pilgrimage route to St David’s. 

Nevern suffers from problems with flooding.  At one point the River Caman perilously undercut the tower of the church.  Hence the gabions that form part of the flood defences in the village that Ike is sitting on in the next photo.  The Nevern valley is steep-sided and narrow which causes any flooding to be very flashy in nature.

After visiting Nevern, Ike went to a very famous burial chamber; Pentre Ifan.  This is a Neolithic burial chamber (dolmen) that some archaeologists think used to look like this:

It dated from about 3500 BC.  The stones are balanced so well the top stone is estimated to weigh 16 tonnes and is resting on the points of the 3 rocks below it. 

2 Replies to “Ike sees Pentre Ifan Neolithic Tomb”

  1. What lovely countryside you and your travelling buddies were able to witness. The stone formation of the tomb is remarkable!

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