Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Caer Penrhos

A Scheduled Monument in Llanrhystyd (Llanrhystud), Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.3051 / 52°18'18"N

Longitude: -4.1248 / 4°7'29"W

OS Eastings: 255226

OS Northings: 269572

OS Grid: SN552695

Mapcode National: GBR 8Q.WT75

Mapcode Global: VH4FX.GB77

Entry Name: Caer Penrhos

Scheduled Date: 16 September 1949

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1865

Cadw Legacy ID: CD094

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Llanrhystyd (Llanrhystud)

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of a very fine hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Hillforts are usually Iocated 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. Caer Penrhos stands on a prominent local hilltop with wide views, particularly to the west and south. It is defended for the most part by a single bank standing up to 4m high externally and up to 2m above the interior, although on the north-west, the hillslope appears to be the only defence. Within this enclosure, at the south-east end, is a probable medieval ringwork measuring c.40m east-west by c.25m north-south, defined by a bank standing up to 1.5m internally and 3.5m externally, above a ditch up to 2m deep. The entrance to the ringwork is on the south, and that of the main fort at the north-east. The main fort may have been adapted for use as a bailey to the ringwork, which probably represents the remains of the castle founded by the Welsh Cadwaladr ap Gruffudd in 1148 and last mentioned in 1157.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric and of medieval defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric and medieval 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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