Chambered Tomb - Gwynedd

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SH 40774 49489 (GPS 55min)
Visited August 2001

Bachwen is a very attractive monument in a very picturesque setting on the Lleyn peninsular. Unfortunately the structure is closely surrounded by an ugly iron fence (removed for the above photo), which, while offering some protection from livestock, sadly ruins an otherwise beautiful sight.

The remains of the chamber comprise a large wedge shaped capstone about 2.5m long and 1.5m wide, supported on four orthostats of equal height. The upper surface of the capstone is very heavily cupmarked, there are so many cups that we lost track and gave up counting at around seventy! The supporting stones are arranged around a rectangular space in two facing pairs, it is thought that the gaps between the stones were probably originally filled with dry-stone walling, a technique found commonly in tombs of this region. 

Bachwen is a one of a group of megalithic chambers in the Lleyn peninsular which show traits that appear to link them to Portal Dolmens. Although there is no high door stone, tilted capstone or H-shaped portal, Bachwen does show the rectangular plan typical of Portal Dolmens, and there is no evidence of an entrance passage. To compound matters, Bachwen has also undergone an unspecified amount of restoration in the past. Without excavation, there is not enough information to determine whether Bachwen is an early progenitor form, or a later "degenerate" form of the classical Portal Dolmen.

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