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image for Historic Site item typeTinkinswood Burial Chamber (Cadw)

  • Cadw Welsh Government

Historic Site, free entry

Tinkinswood

Tinkinswood

Details

Constructed nearly 6000 years ago, this Neolithic burial chamber held the bodies of over 50 individuals. At around 40 tons, the capstone weighs as much as an articulated lorry and is one of the largest in Britain. Set on a sloping valley, this area would have been very desirable in the Neolithic period. There is a stream nearby, good soil for growing crops and plenty of stone suitable for making tools and building tombs. We think the mudstone for the Chamber probably came from the area nearby which is known as 'The Quarry'.

The chamber looks quite different now. Originally it would have been covered by an earthen mound. It still gives a good idea of how these tombs were laid out though. You can pick out the rectangular outline of the mound with its external revetment wall, along with the wide forecourt. This leads up to a single cell (chamber) where the bodies were found along with broken pottery and worked flint.

Parts of the site were reconstructed following its excavation in 1914. A supporting pillar was inserted in the chamber and the external walls were re-clad using a distinctive herringbone pattern.

The tomb has collected a number of folk tales over the years. The best known of these legends is that anyone who spends a night at this site on the evenings preceding May Day, St John's Day (23rd June), or Midwinter Day would die, go raving mad, or become a poet. The group of boulders to the south of the monument is said to be women turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath: a common theme in the folklore.

Regional Tourist Board Member

Children welcomeDogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Smoking not allowed

Opening Details

Open all the time

Daily 10.00am - 4.00pm. Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

Prices

Free entry

Contact

Enquiries

Address

St Nicholas,
Cardiff,
CF5 6ST

Location

Directions

Plan route to Tinkinswood Burial Chamber (Cadw) using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: ST 092732  Lat: 51.45133 Long: -3.30804

Take the A48 west from Cardiff at Culverhouse Cross to St Nicholas; turn left at traffic lights where signed to the Burial Chamber. Small parking area and footpath signed to right of this lane after about 0.75mile.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 4.5 miles from Waun-Gron Park station

Facilities

  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed