Ancient Monuments

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Cardigan Island Defended Enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Y Ferwig, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.1318 / 52°7'54"N

Longitude: -4.6895 / 4°41'22"W

OS Eastings: 216016

OS Northings: 251574

OS Grid: SN160515

Mapcode National: GBR CY.7X1P

Mapcode Global: VH2MG.NPQ4

Entry Name: Cardigan Island Defended Enclosure

Scheduled Date: 7 March 2011

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 973

Cadw Legacy ID: CD280

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Enclosure - Defensive

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Y Ferwig

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the whole of Cardigan Island, containing two defended enclosures dating to the Iron Age (c. 800BC – 43AD). Features relating to the later agricultural use of the island are also included. Defended enclosure A is sub-rectangular in shape, c.47m NW-SE by 28m NE-SW, and is defined by a low bank and ditch. On the SW side the structure has a small ‘annex’. Defended enclosure B is located on clifftops on the north of the island, and is c.90m E-W and 44m N-S. It is similarly defined by a bank and ditch. However, only part of the enclosure survives, an unknown proportion of the northern side has been lost due to coastal erosion. Geophysical survey has highlighted the presence of surviving internal features in both of these enclosures. Later features on the island include a sheep-fold, three ponds and a landing stage approached by a rock-cut path along the cliff-side.

Cardigan Island is of national importance for its potential to inform us about centuries of land-use undisturbed by modern agriculture and settlement. In particular, the island represents the rare survival of prehistoric enclosures together with their surrounding landscape.

The area scheduled comprises those remains described above, and the area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. The area runs to the mean high water mark around the island, and is centred on NGR SN 16007 51632.

Source: Cadw

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