Isle of Albion
Ancient dolmen tomb in a dramatic setting.
Photographed: Thursday 30th December 2010
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Carreg Samson is a 5,000 year old Neolithic burial chamber, situated high on a cliff overlooking Abercastle harbour and the Irish Sea. The massive capstone - some 15 feet long and 9 feet wide - is supported by three remaining upright stones. Excavations in 1968 found artificial post-holes that would have housed a further four stones - three of which would have supported the capstone, and another that would have supported an additional chamber stone. When constructed, it is likely that Carreg Samson would have been covered by an earth mound, making it one of a handful of Britain's surviving portal tombs. The tomb is constructed around a central pit, filled with clay and stone. It has been suggested that this pit may provide evidence that the capstone was excavated on site at the time of construction. In recent times, the gaps between the uprights were filled with stone, and the chamber was used as a makeshift sheep shelter.

The name Carreg Samson arises from a local legend that the Celtic Saint Samson created the monument by flicking stones from the island in Abercastle harbour with his little finger.

Carreg Samson stands isolated in a field, offering stunning views out over the harbour to the north - a dramatic panorama of rugged and beautiful coastline. The path from Abercastle offers a magnificent approach to the stones, creating a sense of pilgrimage and disconnection from the modern world. Carreg Samson is a striking monument, visually impressive and strikingly evocative. Although well documented in various literature and tourist guides, its location lends it a solitude that protects it from the hordes of visitors that flock to the more accessible ancient monuments.