Pentre Ifan is a neolithic dolmen or burial site dating from about 3500BC. The site consists of 7 stones, including a large 16 Tonne cap stone, which sits 8ft (2.5m) above the ground, balanced on three of the upright stones. This is reportedly the best preserved dolmen in Wales.
Location and Parking
Post Code: SA41 3TZ
Pentre Ifan is in Pembrokeshire in west Wales, close to the town of Newport. It is signposted from the A487 just under 2 miles east of Newport and is reached along a couple of narrow country roads. There is a large lay-by at the site, with space for several cars to park. The dolmen is in a field, just two minutes from the road. There is no access charge.
The dolmen was built about 3500BC. The standard theory is that the upright stones and massive cap stone formed a burial chamber that was originally covered in a mound of earth and smaller stones. Over the years, the mound has been removed, leaving the current 6 upright stones and the capstone standing in isolation. An alternative view is that the main stones were never covered, but were always planned to stand as they do today. The site was first recorded as early as 1603, and was one of only 3 sites in Wales preserved under the 1882 act to protect ancient monuments.
This is a popular site, so some patience may be required to photograph it free of other visitors.
Carreg Coetan Arthur
Pentre Ifan has a little brother within the town of Newport. This is the small dolmen of Carreg Coetan Arthur. The site is signposted from the A487 in Newport, reached by turning down Feidr Pen-Y-Bont. It is possible to park on the road to the Newport dental practice. The dolmen is across the road, in a small field off a residential cul-de-sac, a somehwat incongruous setting for a 5000 year old landmark.