As well as practictioners of the Magical Arts, is is rumoured that Pentre Ifan also attracts supernatural beings themselves to the monument in the form of fairies, dressed in soldier-like attire and little red caps. These have been spotted frolicking both at Pentre Ifan itself and in the nearby Ty Canol Woods.
The Sun Setting Behind Ty Canol Woods
Dating from around 3,500 B.C., Pentre Ifan is constructed from large slabs of local igneous rocks which were carried to the top of the hll overlooking Fishguard and the Nevern Valley to form the crux of a large ceremonial burial chamber. The effort involved in raising these rocks into position should not be underestimated and would have involved the whole community, who believed that by burying their departed loved ones on a hill they were helping their spirits rise into the Afterworld.
The Bronze Age monument would have looked radically different when it was first completed to how it appears today. A chamber was originally present in the tomb, supported by small drystone wall sides (many of these stones are still evident at the site, scattered around the clearing where the bulk of Pentre Ifan still stands). The bodies of the deceased members of the local community (or at least a select number of them) would have been taken into this chamber and laid to rest in side openings located along its length (given its age and conspicuous nature, it is not thought untoward that no remains of human interment have been found beneath the stones here). The entire construction would also have been covered by a trapezoidal shaped mound of earth measuring a full thirty-six metres in length.
That so much of this remarkable dolmen still exists has already been noted as being extraordinary and, in 1884, its important stature in the archaeological world was officially recognised when it became Britain’s first Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Pentre Ifan is currently managed by CADW and entrance to the site is free of charge. Limited parking is available along the lane, set a short distance from the site. Whilst this is a fine location for a summer’s picnic, for those wanting to trully sample the full majesty of feeling this Megalith can impart to visitors, it is strongly recommended to coincide any intended time spent at Pentre Ifan with the opportunity of also taking in the spectacle of the sun setting behind this most stunning and awesome of Wales’ prehistoric structures.