Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Caer Bach

A Scheduled Monument in Caerhun, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.2389 / 53°14'19"N

Longitude: -3.8831 / 3°52'59"W

OS Eastings: 274422

OS Northings: 372970

OS Grid: SH744729

Mapcode National: GBR 1ZBZ.3N

Mapcode Global: WH545.BV4D

Entry Name: Caer Bach

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3426

Cadw Legacy ID: CN125

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Conwy

Community: Caerhun

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Hillforts are usually located on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. Hillforts must have formed symbols of power within the landscape, while their function may have had as much to do with ostentation and display as defence.

A well preserved small fort overlooking the Conwy valley. It is situated on a spur which ends in a rounded knoll on the W side of Tal y Fan. The knoll is encircled by two lines of defences, an outer earthen bank with external ditch, and an inner wall. The outer defences are most marked on the N and W, on the other sides they merge into the natural scarp. At its most pronounced the bank is 4m above the bottom of the ditch, and 2m above the interior. The ditch is 0.5m deep from outside. On the S side there is a counterscarp bank. The top of the knoll forms a flat area, and the internal defensive wall runs around the perimeter of this area. Only the foundations remain of a massive wall 4.5m wide. The entrance was on the E, a track runs through the outer defences and then turns a right angle to run through a simple 3m wide entrance into the interior.

The interior is a roughly circular area 38m across. It is very rocky, but the outline of one round hut can be made out against the NE inner wall.

There are two long huts built against the outer ramparts, one on the NE side and one on the SW side. A round hut lies 2-3m away from the ditch on the W side. A number of other house platforms and settlement sites lie in the area, with associated field systems connecting up with the settlements by Maen y Bardd.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric context and within the surrounding landscape. The site is well preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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