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Presaddfed, Bodedern
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Southern capstone and upright

I recently visited the Neolithic chambered tomb at Presaddfed, Bodedern. This monument is covered on the web by Cadw, the Megalithic Portal, Stone Circles and the Modern Antiquarian. This monument also appears in the third volume of the journal I currently edit: the Archaeological Journal for 1846 by H. Longueville Jones, available for free via the Archaeological Data Services, one of the first 120 available here.

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Signpost and footpath sign near layby
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Winter trees, en route to the chambered tomb

 

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Snowdrops by the roadside

 

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Signs and monument in distance

 

There is a Cadw lay-by and then a short walk to the field along a lane lined by snowdrops and with some striking birds’ nests in the trees. The path leads to a shooting range; opposite one has to navigate across a field to the monument. At the entrance to the field was the heritage sign, the kissing gate and the required quagmire.

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Presaddfed, Bodedern from NE

My son was so disgusted by the volumes of sheep dung in the field that he walked all the way across to within 10 metres of the monument before storming off in a random direction  in a sulk. Methinks he was really simply hungry and looking for an excuse to get back to the car pronto.

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The southern structure

 

He didn’t miss explored within, which is simply mud and sheep debris. Still, from around it, one gets a sense of the two structures c. 1.5 m apart form each other. The southern has an intact capstone while the northern one has collapsed. Frances Lynch speculates as to whether this was a similar multi-phased chambered monument like Trefignath.

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Within the southern chamber

I recall visiting this site over a decade ago with a colleague who was terrified of cows and was reluctant to venture into a field populated by them. I have recently faced this horror at Bodowyr but the field at Presaddfed is so big, on returning I could sympathise with her nerves. Even with only sheep to face this time, it is a big field and one feels very exposed when out in the middle of it far from the fences. As well as being a heritage site, this monument attracts visitors with other motives: on the southern capstone was a recent votive: a solitary piece of quartz.

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A modern votive?

 

There are references regarding this monument’s recent uses. Longueville Jones records the presence nearby of many other stones suggesting the former presence of a cairn. He also testifies to the use of the monument as a shelter for the farmer and his labourers during inclement weather. In 1801, local tradition states that the southern chamber was lived in by a family evicted from a cottage nearby (according to Lynch in her Gwynedd guidebook).

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View of the northern capstone from the top of the southern capstone

 

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