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The Capel Garmon Burial Chamber is a neolithic burial chamber of the 3rd millennium Capel Garmon Burial ChamberBC. It is located in a farmer's field near Betws y Coed high above the Conwy Valley and there are wonderful views of Snowdonia. It is a major archaeological site and it is well worth a visit if only for the fantastic views of the Snowdonia National Park, indeed I would have to describe it as a "tomb with a view".
What appears to be the entrance is in fact one of the inner burial chambers and the real entrance is on the south side from where a passage led to a rectangular space  which branched off to two circular burial chambers, the east and the west. The chamber has undergone considerable renovation but there are traces of the original stone walling in the lower courses of the eastern chamber. Look hard for a line of three very small drill marks that indicate the junction of new and old work. There is only one capstone remaining, but it is a fantastic piece of stone fourteen feet wide, and there are two false portals leading nowhere. These are believed to be for ceremonial purposes only.

The present entrance was formed for use as a stable in the 19th Century and because of the disturbances not many artifacts were discovered during excavation. However some sherds of late Neolithic ( Beaker) pottery were found and some traces of bone were found in the passageway. When viewing the chambers it is important to realise that it is a Cairn and would originally have been covered with a pile of stones. The outline of the cairn is now recorded by the lines of stones around the perimeter of the chamber.

Directions :

OS 116 SH 818 543

Leave Betws y Coed on the A5 travelling north to Conwy. Turn right after a few hundred yards at sign pointing to Capel Garmon. Follow the narrow, very steep road to Capel Garmon (approx 1.5 miles). Pass through the village and continue for another 1/4 mile. Continue over the brow of the hill and there is a gate with two stone gate posts on the right. Pass through the first set of gates and continue along the lane past one house on the right till you come to second house, a farmhouse and farm yard. On the left you will see sign post for tomb and footpath. Walk across field approx. 2 minutes.
Should you be based in Betws y Coed there is a path leading up toward Capel Garmon from near the Waterloo Bridge. Alternatively you could cycle up the hill as per directions above. Both the last two alternatives are preferable to driving there by car as it is a lovely walk or cycle ride, especially the down hill return !
There is a nice pub and restaurant in Capel Garmon and an interesting grave yard, another case of "tombs with a view". Click here for pictures of Capel Garmon village >

 

Please click on the pictures below for more scenes of Capel Garmon Burial Chamber, nr Betws y Coed.
© All pictures and text copyright Bernard Wellings

A view of the chamber from the east Capel Garmon Burial Chamber
A view of the chamber from the east. The eastern chamber is in the foreground, with the western chamber in the background covered by the massive capstone.
 
View from the west of the "entrance" which is a false entrance formed in the 19th Century.
Capstone roofing the western chamber   Setting of the burial chamber
The massive capstone roofing the western chamber is 14 feet wide.
 
View showing the setting of the burial chamber in the landscape
The eastern chamber   Capel Garmon Burial Chamber Cadw notice board
The eastern chamber.
  The Cadw notice board at Capel Garmon Burial Chamber. Cadw is the authority responsible for the Ancient Sites in Wales.
Views of Snowdonia from Capel Garmon Click for pictures of Capel Garmon
Views of Snowdonia from Capel Garmon  
Click for pictures of Capel Garmon

Attractions nearby including a few more ancient sites in the vicinity :

  • Capel Garmon, a small village above the Conwy Valley
  • Maen y Bardd Burial Chamber above the village of Rowen in the lower Conwy Valley.
  • Bwlch y Ddeuffaen Standing Stones close to Rowen.
  • There are a number of excellent Golf Courses in Conwy Wales.
  • hairy legged hiker
    The nearby Hills of Snowdonia offer some of the best Mountain Bike Trails in the United Kingdom.
  • There are an abundance of walks in this area of Snowdonia.
  • Fishing  on the Afon Conwy, and the Lledr is very popular.
  • Pony trekking is available nearby in the Sychnant Pass and Penmachno.
  • White water rafting is available in Tryweryn near Bala.Tu Hwnt I'r Bont a National Trust tea house on the banks of the Conwy River Llanrwst, click to enlarge
 

Related tourist information links :

return to tourist attractions Map of WalesBetws y Coed >>   Dolwyddelan >>  Llanrwst >>   Llandudno >>   Conwy >>

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