Ty Newydd Burial Chamber (4000 - 3000 BC)

OS Map ref: SH344738 53.2359,-4.4824

Situated on a gently sloping hillside west of the town of Rhosneigr the cromlech at Ty Newydd (new house) commands good views of the surrounding countryside. The chamber is all that remains of a simple passage grave which will have been covered by a cairn. This, along with those at Bodowyr and Ty-mawr, is likely to be one of the earliest neolithic burial chambers on the island. Although this is the only one of the three to have been excavated[1], the results as regards dating weren't at all conclusive, as no human remains were found.

The current capstone appears to be very narrow, more so than any other cromlechs. I believe this is explained by a story that, more than 200 years ago, a tenant of the land lit a fire on top of the original stone to welcome home the then landowner, and the capstone split! This would be borne out by the description of the site when visited in 1802 by the Rev. John Skinner, whose drawings show the stones roughly as they are now, but there were also two other very large stones lying close by, one of which was the same length and thickness (16 feet by 3 feet) as the capstone still standing[2]. The other large stone could have been part of the original passage roof.

Unfortunately, because these megaliths are so old and have been subject not only to the ravishes of time (at least 5,000 years in this case), but wanton 'recycling' to build newer things, they often end up in a sorry state which necessitates human intervention. One of the brick pillars pictured here was erected by the archaeologist C W Phillips following his excavation in 1935 and spoils the ancient look, but to quote Steve Burrow: "Although these pillars detract from the ambience of the tombs, they have prevented collapse so far"[3].

From A55 junction 5, turn onto the A4080 towards Rhoswneigr. After 2.8 miles and just before the village of Llanfaelog take the second of two right turns towards Bryngwran. After about half a mile look out for the monument sign on the right, just after a junction. Park on the right of the road (not much space) and climb over the stile and use the currently mown path that runs by a hedge along the edge of the field.

(click on thumbnails to view the larger picture and enter film strip viewer) or see my Ty Newydd slideshow movie on YouTube

References / Further Reading
[1] Excavation report by C W Phillips, Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1936 (pp 93-99)
[2] Archaeologia Cambrensis Tour in Anglesea Parochialia 1908-11 (pp 46-47)
[3] Burrow, Steve, The Tomb Builders in Wales 4000-3000 BC, National Museum Wales Books, 2006 (pp 138)

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