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The Winter Solstice at Stonehenge 2004

Tinkinswood burial chamber

Tinkinswood is a chambered burial chamber near Cardiff. The monument is also known as Castell Carrigan (Witch's castle), Llech-y-Filiast, Maes-y-Filiast and Gwal-y-Filiast. The north-east facing entrance is made between the portal stones, through a well-placed stone - 'a stumble' - forming a type of ancient doorway. This is a sizeable chambered cairn - about 30 feet long and 18 feet long with an enormous 50 ton capstone - 24ft x 15ft (the largest in Britain).
The ancient burial chamber was excavated in 1914. The remains of around 50 people were discovered along with other items that suggest that the chamber was used until 2000 B.C.

There is a stone sided pit behind the chamber, which may have been used as part of the burial process.

Welsh burial chamber
Tinkinswood capstone

Tinkinswood legend

Local legend tells that if you sleep there on May Day Eve, St Johns Eve or Midwinter's Eve you will either die, go mad or become a poet.

This is a popular Welsh myth that also relates to other locations including: the standing stones at St. Nicholas, Glamorgan, the stone chair on the summit of Cader Idris (Gwynedd), and other Welsh Cairns, such as Bedd Taliesin (Taliesin's Grave) in Llanfihangel, Dyfed.

Tinkinswood dolmen
stone sisters

A group of boulders outside and to the south of the chamber are believed to be women turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath

burial mound

General view of Tinkinswood from the East showing the huge capstone and the low retaining walls


St Lythan's Burial Chamber

St Lythans  capstone

About one and a half miles away from Tinkinswood is St.Lythans, a Neolithic chambered tomb.

Also known as Gwal-y-Filiast (Greyhound Bitch's Kennel) - it was once used apparently as an animal shelter. The tomb is located in a field, known locally as the 'Accursed Field', (because nothing can grow there).

It balances a huge capstone - 14 feet long and 10 feet wide. The portal stones are smoothed and the back stone has a hole in the top. The entrance faces north-east.

Local legend has it that any wish whispered to the stones at Hallowe'en is granted. The capstone is said to spin three times on Midsummer's Eve and then the stones are said to go bathing in the nearby river.

inside burial tomb ancient burial tomb near Cardiff
St. Lythans Neolithic burial chamber chambered cairn
St. Lythans burial chamber