A trip to Wales and Chester, Part 3

Day 3

Before taking the hired car back to Llandudno Junction and moving on to Chester, my sweetheart and I (well, we’re both historians) decided to pay a visit to the famous Neolithic monument of Bryn Celli Ddu in South Anglesey – a 5,000-year old burial chamber that’s remarkably well preserved and can be accessed freely! We had real difficulties finding it, though; there was just a small car park and a sign that pointed to a narrow path lined with hedges and fences. We walked along that path, past meadows with cows, for about a mile; then a turn – and there it was, right before us, one of the oldest monuments in Europe!

8Anglesey (189)

 

 

It was built around 3,000 BCE, originally as a henge with a stone circle, like a smaller version of Stonehenge. Human remains were burnt and buried in the centre of the circle, which obviously served as a ritual place and maybe even for marking the territory of the tribe. Then, about a thousand years later, the standing stones were demolished and a passage tomb was built instead; as usual in those tombs, the stones were aligned exactly so that the sun’s rays would shine into the burial chamber on summer solstice – our ancestors were very good at astronomy, as the seasons were very important to them!

 

 

It really was a fascinating experience – and a bit eerie, too! – to enter the old dark chamber; it’s very narrow and low-ceilinged, and Ian is 6’4″… We were quite glad to get back into the daylight again!

 

 

 

 

Anyway, visiting Bryn Celli Ddu was one of the greatest sightseeing experiences I’ve ever had; and just to think that it’s hidden there in the meadows, known only to people with an almost abnormal interest in prehistory – but maybe it’s safer that way, far away from pollution, tourism and vandalism…

 

 

Next episode: The old Roman British Town of Chester

Published by: Roberta Franklin

I’m an author of romantic fiction, born in Germany and living in Greece and London. I’ve worked as a journalist, as social hostess on a cruise ship, as an insurance agent, as a translator and teacher… I love books, movies, computer games, history – and I feel at home everywhere around the world!

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