On a recent road trip through
Pembrokeshire and up the Welsh coast I made a
detour from the main road to find this ancient
I’ve had a fascination with megalithic
sites; stone circles, barrows and dolmens for
a few years, but few have captured my heart in
the way that this did.
dolmen (meaning in Welsh ‘stone table’)
at Pentre Ifan observes a wonderful view on all
sides. Hills and forests, sweeping fields, a wide
view of the coastline and out across Cardigan Bay.
This site truly is spectacular, and the soft green
grass is well maintained and worth getting your
toes out for.
Pentre Ifan dolmen dates back to around 3500 BC
and would originally have formed part of a much
larger mound. This style of structure is thought
to have been used as a burial chamber. Some argue
it could also have been a temple used for rituals,
originally in the shape of a recumbent woman.
A welcoming space
The capstone seems to rest on the pointed megaliths
with ease, although you can almost imagine it
sliding off and taking flight across the bay.
the nearby Carreg Samson site, the capstone here
is difficult to reach up to, and the space beneath
it is large and welcoming. It’s impossible
to not want to stay a while, sit down, observe the
view and consider all the events in history that
these stones have stood through.
ancient sites of the British Isles are many in
number but not all can give you this ‘sense
sublime of something far more deeply interfused’
Pentre Ifan dolmen provides a connectedness to
something in us but also wider than us, bringing
us closer to an understanding of our need to create
spaces for contemplation and also for action.
If you’ve never visited a site of this
kind then this is a great place to start.
Pentre Ifan is found near Fishguard, Wales, UK.
Ifan - stonepages.com