Ancient Monuments

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Camp west of Cwm Cefn y Gaer

A Scheduled Monument in Llanddewi Ystradenny (Llanddewi Ystradenni), Powys

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Latitude: 52.3192 / 52°19'9"N

Longitude: -3.3005 / 3°18'1"W

OS Eastings: 311452

OS Northings: 269812

OS Grid: SO114698

Mapcode National: GBR 9T.W027

Mapcode Global: VH692.RY0Y

Entry Name: Camp W of Cwm Cefn y Gaer

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2596

Cadw Legacy ID: RD093

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Llanddewi Ystradenny (Llanddewi Ystradenni)

Traditional County: Radnorshire


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. This site, also known simply as Y Gaer, occupies a hilltop position with wide views in all directions. It consists in general terms of two quite widely separated concentric enclosures. The inner enclosure, which is roughly rectilinear, measures c.94m north-east to south-west by c.76m; this has an inturned entrance on the north-east and is defined by scarps around most of its circumference apart from on the south-west side where the bank rises c.1m above the interior and c.2.9m above the base of the c.0.4m deep external ditch. Running north-eastwards from the northern corner of the inner enclosure is a further length of bank c.71m long which swings southwards at its far end and appears to define an annexe, though there is no trace of any further defences. A hut platform has been identified within this area. The outer enclosure also is incomplete, although it appears to enclose an area measuring c.278m north-east to south-west by c.112m. It consists of a scarp along the north-west side, with a hint of an inturned entrance at its eastern end, and a bank and ditch on the south-west; the bank is c.0.4m high on the inner side and rises 2.8m above the base of a 1m deep external ditch. A further short length of bank has been provided outside the main defence on this side to cover dead ground; this bank is c.2m high internally with a slight external ditch c.0.2m deep. While the slope to the south-east of the site is somewhat steeper than elsewhere, the gradient does not seem sufficient to have made defences unnecessary; there is a suggestion that this side of the site was damaged by track construction at some point before 1971.

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; a further hillfort at Cwm Cefn y Gaer lies only about 500m to its east. 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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