Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber

Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber

Pembrokeshire is so well endowed with ancient monuments, and you are never far away from one wherever you are in the county. The coast around Sea David’s Head is no exception with 3 burial chambers and an Iron Age Fort what else could you need. On the ridge behind ST David’s Head lies Coetan Arthur, Arthur’s Quoit. As you approach from either side it stands out in silhouette  in the saddle of the ridge between St David’s Head and Carn Llidi. Like others along the Pembrokeshire Coast this chamber is sited in a rocky outcrop, and seems to fit so neatly into the landscape I caught myself thinking the builders must have influenced in their design by the nature of the place.

SHowing the massive capstone supported by the single upright at one end

This is a large burial chamber, unlike the two smaller ones further up the slopes of Carn Llidi to the east (more here). The chamber has a massive capstone, measuring 4.0m by 3.0m and 0.5m thick. This is supported by a single upright, 1.5m high, whilst the other end rests on the ground to the north-west. There are two other uprights lying on the ground, and so I suppose technically no longer uprights.  According to Coflein and Cadw there are traces of a passage leading west from the chamber and of a round barrow or cairn. But my very untrained eye couldn’t see this among the rocks strewn around the place.

The history of St David’s head goes back further than the Neolithic. Evidence of occupation of this small piece of land from the Mesolithic Period suggests that there has been continuous occupation here for the past 6000-7000 years. Maybe one day I’ll find a piece of worked flint while wondering around. That would make my day!

Coetan Arthur with Carn Llidi behind


Coetan Arthur. Coflein. Accessed 2019.07.14. 

Rees, S. (1992) A Guide to Ancient and Historic Dyfed. HMSO:London.

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