MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
    INTERNATIONAL
Pentre Ifan Portal Dolmen
Pentre Ifan is perhaps the finest surviving Neolithic tomb in Wales and forms one
of a group of Portal Dolmens built around the tributaries of the Nevern Valley
approximately 6,000 years ago. Its chamber is formed by a capstone of around 16
tons upheld on three uprights about 2.5m high at one end of a cairn some 30 m
long. The tomb was excavated by W F Grimes in 1936-7, who thought that it was
heavily influenced by prehistoric contacts with Ireland. More recent research
suggests the tomb was an indigenous creation by the local communities but may
have been nonetheless influenced by Irish culture and contact during a later stage
of its use, when the long mound, long since eroded away, was extended. Finds from
Pentre Ifan, as from other Welsh prehistoric tombs, were meagre, numbering a few
sherds of pottery from a shouldered bowl and a triangular flint arrowhead. Its
present appearance, as a gaunt freestanding structure supporting a delicately
balanced capstone, may never have been witnessed by the communities who later
used it. Instead, it is thought that the whole structure was covered in a massive
mound or cairn of stones with access to the chamber permitted only through the
door or ‘portal’ at the south end.

‘Spirits and fairies exist all round us, invisible. Fairies have no solid bodily
substance. Their forms are of matter like ghostly bodies, and on this account, they
cannot be caught. In the twilight they are often seen, and on moonlight nights in
summer. Only certain people can see fairies, and such people hold communication
with them and have dealings with them, but it is difficult to get them to talk about
fairies. My mother used to tell about seeing the "fair-folk" dancing in the fields
near Cardigan; and other people have seen them round the cromlech up there on
the hill (the Pentre Evan Cromlech). They appeared as little children in clothes like
soldiers' clothes, and with red caps, according to some accounts.’

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by W. Y. Evans-Wentz (1911). Account given by
a local woman whose ancestors had lived in that area for centuries.
LOCATION
Latitude: 51.999005N
Longitude: 4.770042W
Located 4km east of Newport on a public footpath.
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Pentre Ifan Portal Dolmen