by Sandy Gerrard

Cadw’s refusal to designate the Bancbryn stone alignment allegedly hangs on a lack of compelling evidence to support a prehistoric date for the site. We have seen that this sort of nicety does not normally inconvenience them. The schedule is stuffed full of sites that lack any evidence (compelling or otherwise) to support their identification and a whole load more where the evidence strongly suggests that fundamental interpretative mistakes have been made. On an area of moorland not far from Mynydd y Betws at Carn Llechart (SN 69668 06275) stands a scheduled chambered tomb. Over the years doubts have been expressed regarding its identity but despite this and the lack of any evidence to support its identification as a chambered tomb it has remained firmly on the schedule.  The surviving earthworks and slabs of rock can be most plausibly interpreted as a quarry. The dumps of waste are piled up into three neat banks, the slabs have been trenched around to expose their edges and one of the slabs has been split. There is no part of the evidence that does not fit a quarrying scenario whilst by contrast nobody seems to have been able to explain how the different components fit together to form a chambered tomb. Perhaps Cadw would like to explain what the compelling evidence is to justify the statutory designation of this feature.

Llechart1

Quarry pits visible at A with waste material dumps at B.  Although scheduled as a chambered tomb the surviving features look like the result of quarrying. View from south east (28th December 2014).

Llechart2

A large split stone. The thin rock on the left has been split from the slab on the right.  View from above and west.

Llechart3

Large slabs exposed by trenching along their edges. Material removed thrown up to form a bank along the western side. Classic quarrying remains. View from south east.