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Ancient Sites Gazetteer
Ancient Sites Gazetteer
Alderley Edge has been a sacred site for many thousands of years and has many legends attached to it. King Arthur and his men are said to sleep somewhere beneath the sandstone cliffs. Read More »
The Grade II listed All Saints Church in Alton Priors dates from the 12th century. According to 'A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 11' (1980) 'The church of ALL SAINTS, Alton Priors, is built of freestone, rubble, and red brick and has a chancel, nave, and west tower. The chancel arch survives from the 12th-century church. Read More »
A holy well can be found at Altarnun dedicated to Saint Non (also known as Nonna or Nonnita), along with a nearby church. As with many ancient wells, this one is reputed to have healing properties, this time madness.
The Alton Barnes white horse dates from 1812 and can be found on a slope facing southeast between Milk Hill (one of the highest points in Wiltshire) and Walkers Hill, nearly a mile north of Alton Barnes. Measuring 160 feet by 166 feet, the horse was commissioned by Robert Pile from Manor Farm in Alton Barnes and designed by John Thorne (Jack the Painter). Read More »
Arbor Low is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Derbyshire. Surrounded by unspoiled countryside with fantastic views over classic Derbyshire scenery, it is not hard to image that one is thousands of miles away from the hubbub of modern life. Read More »
History, the ritual landscape and geometry once resonated very much as one. Faint traces of our ancestors whose silent whispers in the landscape once conveyed so much awe and splendour now sadly lie silent, their purpose and meaning largely forgotten, for in general there is a present day lack of any real sense of connectedness. Read More »
Arthur’s Stone is the name given to the remains of a Neolithic chambered tomb. Aged around 5000 years old (3700BC – 2700BC), the monument consists of a huge cap stone weighing over 25 tonnes and nine upright stones. Read More »
The stone circle and henge that surrounds the village of Avebury, is only one in a series of monuments concentrated in this small area. The site is a remnant of a ritual Neolithic landscape, which still survives although degraded with time and the actions of over zealous groups in past centuries. Read More »
This concentric ring hillfort dates from the Iron Age, and according to archaeologists was built to stem an invasion from the Northeast of the country. Read More »
Balfarg Henge and Bilbirnie Stone circle now sit in the midst of a housing estate separated by the A92, which runs through the site. Read More »
This cliff face site was rediscovered in the 1980's, and consists of an abundance of cup and ring markings and other more obscure symbols. Read More »
Ballynoe is a large stone circle dating from the Late Neolithic Period situated with superb views of the Mountains of Mourne to the South. Its position and size make it one of the most impressive stone circles in Ireland. Read More »
The Clava Cairns - or more correctly Balnuaran of Clava - is one of the best preserved Bronze Age burial sites in Scotland. There are three cairns here, two with passage ways aligned to the Midwinter sunset, and all with more subtle features, incorporated to reflect the importance of the South-west horizon. Read More »
A two feet high pillow mound earthwork shaped as a cross in Banwell has a Devil legend attached to it. According to the story, the villagers of Banwell attempted to erect a large cross on Banwell Hill, but each night the Devil would come along and blow it down. In order to prevent this the villagers decided to create the cross on the ground making it difficult for the Devil to destroy. Read More »
This burial mound has five carved stones within its chamber, now capped by concrete to prevent their erosion. The stones are carved with a range of patterns including spirals cup marks and zig-zag features. The purpose of these marks is unknown, but they may have had some ritual function. Read More »
The island is also known as the island of the currents and the saints. There are said to be the graves of 20,000 saints interred on the island, and legend suggests that anybody buried here will not go to hell no matter how wicked his deeds. Read More »
Barpa Langass is a Neolithic chambered cairn, which now survives as a jumbled mass of stone overlooking a moonscape of barren peatland. The cairn is roughly 16 feet high, and around 82 feet across. Read More »
The whole area around Dyfed is associated with Arthur, outlined in the old Welsh tales now part of the Mabinogion. This cairn on the hilltop is thought to be Arthur's Grave.
Directions: The grave is in the Prescely Mountains
The chambered tomb called the Bedd Branwen, is said to be the resting place of Branwen, the legendary wife of Bran described in early Welsh stories.
Directions: To the East of Elim.
Bedd Gorfal is also known as the Harlech stone circle and is situated close to the ancient Fonlief Hir track way. There are eight stones in the four metre diameter circle, five of them are easily visible and three are small and easily overlooked. The tallest stone is only about one metre tall, and it is split. Read More »
Bedd-yr-Afanc means the monsters grave, the Afanc being a name commonly given to a water monster in Wales. The grave is actually the only Bronze Age Gallery Grave in Wales and dates from around 1500BC. Just two rows of parallel stones survive. According to legend the Afanc used to dwell in a pool by Brynberian Bridge, and was captured and killed then buried in this mound on the hillside. Read More »
According to an article by W Gregor in Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892) ‘There is a big rugged rock on the top of Ben Newe in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, On the north side of this rock, under a projection, there is a small circular-shaped hollow which always contains water. Read More »
This account of a haunting is considered to be one of the earliest possible accounts of a vampire in Britain. It was written by William Parvus, also known as William of Newburgh (or Newbury) (Born 1136 – Died 1198), an Augustinian Canon who wrote several accounts of haunting/potential vampire cases. Read More »
Bronze Age barrows on the down are known as the music barrows, and are traditionally thought to be home of the fairy folk. According to folklore it was possible to hear the fairy revelry if you placed your ear to the barrows at midday.
A public footpath runs near the down reached from the South West Coast Path. Read More »
The Bodewryd standing stone is approximately between eleven and twelve feet tall, and stands alone in a field on the Plas Bodewryd Estate. It is also known as Carreglefn (Smooth Stone), and as Maen Pres (Brass Stone). Read More »
Bodmin means the house of the monks, and this was an ecclesiastical town until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.
The original monastery dedicated to St Petroc was founded in the 6th Century. St Petroc's bones are believed to be kept in an ivory casket in the crypt of St Petroc's Church. Read More »
The remains of the Neolithic (4000-2000BC) Bodowyr Burial Chamber, consist of a capstone (seven feet by six feet) resting upon three uprights (making a Cromlech). Located northwest of the village of Brynsiencyn, in a field, the chamber is fenced off.
Access is via the B4419 near Llangaffo and a CADW signpost indicates the location.
A horseman garbed in Bronze Age attire has been seen on Bottlebush Down. He disappears into a long barrow from the site of a cursus on the B3081. Many witnesses including respected Archaeologists have seen the spirit. Bottlebush Down seems to have been important to early man and is littered with his remains.
The hill, which was once and Iron Age hillfort, is associated with an Arthurian Legend, and was the abode of three fearsome giants. Read More »
This Long Barrow standing on Congleton Edge, is thought to date from around 3000BC during the Mid Neolithic period. The barrow is aligned East to West and contains a chamber in the Eastern end. Excavated during the 18th century much of the covering mound was destroyed along with 2 other chambers. Read More »
It has been suggested that Alton Barnes may have derived its name from its proximity to this holy well or sacred spring, which appeared in Saxon Charters as Bradewelle as early as 825AD. In 'A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 10 (1975)' Broad Well receives three mentions which are quoted below. Read More »
This is probably one of the most impressive Bronze Age cairn remains in Wales. It has 18 upright slender jagged pillars giving the sense of a coronet, and has a footprint diameter of 8.7 metres. It is supposed that the cairn was used to intern the dead, and it has been damaged by treasure hunters over the years, with the centre of the cairn being dug out. Read More »
In the hills above Talsarnau, to the south west of Bryn Cader Faner can be found the ruins of some prehistoric stone circular structures. It is probably the remains of some early inhabited settlement in the area.
The name of this site translates as the mound in the dark grove. It is a developed site, which changed in ritual use and importance during the Neolithic and Bronze age period. Read More »
These are two giant standing stones, probably two of the tallest in Wales, standing thirteen feet and ten feet tall. They are situated in a field, and actually form part of the field boundary. The stones were recorded as being part of a stone circle the 17th Century, but the circle was allegedly demolished in 19th Century, by locals looking for buried treasure. Read More »
Taking the B4391 towards Bala from Llan Ffestiniog for just over a mile, you pass close to an Iron Age hillfort situated in rough moorland known as Bryn-y-Castell. The site was excavated by students from Plas Tan-y-Bwlch (Maentwrog) between 1979 and 1985, and it was found to be an important site for iron production until the arrival of the Romans in North Wales when it was abandoned. Read More »
This large hillfort has a plethora of traditions attached to it, most notably that it is the site of the legendary Camelot, the stronghold of Arthur. There is a distinct possibility that the historical Arthur - probably a sixth century war leader - had his base here, as the Iron Age hillfort was reoccupied and refortified around this time. Read More »
Caer Leb is a rectangular shaped earthwork with double banks and ditches. It measures approximately two hundred feet by one hundred and sixty feet, so it is quite a large site. A 3rd Century brooch and a 4th Century denarius along with some Roman pottery and Iron Age quern stones have been found at Caer Leb. Read More »
Caer-y-Twr is the remains of an Iron Age hill fort on the summit of Holyhead mountain (Mynydd Twr) 220 metres in height. Due to its position, it did not need much additional defence, but it had a stone rampart on the northern and eastern sides enclosing an area of roughly seven hectares. The site of the hill fort now contains mostly rubble, but the walls can still be identified. Read More »
These are the remains of an ancient settlement, probably an enclosed group of huts. They appear as two round depressions close to some modern improved pasture.
This is the best example of a Roman amphitheatre in Britain. Until 1926 when serious excavations were undertaken at the site, it was considered to be a circular earthwork and linked to the legend of King Arthur being known as his Round Table. Read More »
Situated near the village of Calanais, Isle of Lewis on a ridge of land above Loch Roag, Callanais is one of the more remote stone circles in the British Isles. The circle consists of a central stone just under five metres in height, surrounded by a circle of thirteen stones. Read More »
Located to the south of the village of Capel Garmon, signposted and in a farmer’s field, are the remains of an ancient Neolithic chambered cairn. It is estimated that the ruins are around 5,000 years old, and it was excavated sometime between 1925 and 1927. It has a curved passage approximately fifteen feet long and four feet high, and two circular burial chambers to the east and west. Read More »
This standing stone has a number of traditions associated with it, it looks very much like a Neolithic standing stone, although sources suggest that it actually dates to the fifth century, during the end of the Roman occupation. The name of the stone is certainly of Roman origin although it may have been old during the Roman period. Read More »
Carn Brea was occupied from 3,900BC, and was protected from attack by stone ramparts. Archaeological evidence shows the settlement was attacked and burned down at some point in its history. Hoards of Celtic coins have also been found on the hill during excavation. Read More »
The remains of this Iron Age village dating from around 200BC, houses a 66-foot long fogou. A fogou is an underground passage, completed in stone and covered with earth. They date from the Iron Age period to the Roman occupation.
There is some speculation as to their purpose. Whether they are storage facilities, safe havens from attackers or channels for earth currents is debatable. Read More »
Carn Gluze Long Barrow is a developed site that has seen burials over a long period of time. Early in the history of the barrow a deep shaft was built in the centre of the monument with steps leading down into it, its purpose is unclear although theories of ritual usage have been expounded. Read More »
The Carneddau Hengwm are a couple of quite large tumuli or Neolithic burial chambers that are about two and half miles inland from Llanaber off the A496 Meirionnydd coastal road between Barmouth and Harlech. They lie in an East to West alignment, about fifty yards apart and at an altitude of 900 feet. Read More »