A sacred landscape
Hendre Waelod burial chamber is a portal dolmen constructed around 3500–3000 BC on the eastern slopes of the Conwy Valley near Llansanffraid Glan Conwy. As with all such monuments, its origins are shrouded in mystery. The quantity of such monuments in the area, all built around the same time, suggests that each individual tomb must be viewed as a part of a greater whole, set within a landscape which itself was considered to be sacred. It has been suggested that the construction of these monuments implies the introduction of new spiritual beliefs – perhaps originating in Ireland, home to the earliest of the great Neolithic burial chambers.
Uniquely for the Conwy Valley, Hendre Waelod features traditional high portal stones. They would originally have stood around 3 metres (10 feet) high, though soil from the slope above has fallen over the years and engulfed the bases of the portal stones. The chamber itself is huge but very low, and is covered by an enormous capstone, which has slipped slightly at its northern end. A low slab blocks the entrance from the portal side, but access to the chamber may still be gained from the opposite end. A line of stones surrounding the tomb is believed to outline the long cairn that would have originally covered the tomb.
- Accessible by Public Transport
From Llansanffraid Glan Conwy take A470 south and turn right at angled crossroads at top of hill (before Bodnant turning). Follow road downhill for approx. 1/2mile towards Conwy River. Park at signpost.
Conwy - approx. 3 miles
Llandudno Junction - approx. 2 miles
Glan Conwy - 1/2 mile
Nearest bus stop at Llansanffraid Glan Conwy - 1 mile
Conwy to Betws y Coed cycle route nearby
Follow footpaths. Walking boots recommended. OS map required. Dogs must be on lead.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 793747
OS Landranger map sheet: OS 115
- Hendre Waelod Burial Chamber, Llansanffraid