Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castell Cawr Hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Abergele, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.2772 / 53°16'37"N

Longitude: -3.5982 / 3°35'53"W

OS Eastings: 293528

OS Northings: 376768

OS Grid: SH935767

Mapcode National: GBR 3Z9J.SY

Mapcode Global: WH657.PWRJ

Entry Name: Castell Cawr Hillfort

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3559

Cadw Legacy ID: DE114

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Conwy

Community: Abergele

Built-Up Area: Abergele

Traditional County: Denbighshire


A formidable hillfort: Remains of a drystone wall crowns the single bank on the S. side, varying between 0.5 M. and 1.5 M. near the S.W. corner. Another wall is evident as a spread of stones near the base of the bank on the N. side, connecting with one running N.N.W. on the gradual N. slope of the hill. All these are comparatively modern structures. On the side the bank is visible as a low rise on the brink of the outcrop with an internal ditch c. 6 M. wide, the bank assuming larger proportions towards the S.W. corner 3.0 M. high and the ditch a massive 30 M. declivity.

Occasional outcropping of rock occurs on the inner side of the ditch. A 5 M. break in the S.W. corner is probably connected with a track from Tyddyn Morgan, but perhaps a former approach to the entrance about half way along the W. side.

The N. side comprises a bank, in parts disturbed by a former field wall. A point circa 10 M. W. of the probable modern breach in the defences, c. 7 M. wide and 2 M. high with an external ditch c. 2 M. wide and slight counterscarp bank. c. 20 M. E. of the gap the bank is more spread, c. 13 M. wide and 2 M. high and only faint traces of a ditch. c. 30 M. E. of the gap the bank is c. 7.5 M. wide and 2.5 M. high [G-H] with a berm c. 2 M. wide occupied by the field wall.

Ffos Y Bleiddiaid ( the fosse of the wolves [or warriors] is a natural fissure, varying from 15 to 25' wide, and 1000' long, which cleaves, right across, the N. slope of the hill... Writing in 1856, the Rev. W. Davis...states that here are ' some of the largest and most perfect Roman mines in driving a level into the mountain, some years ago, the miners discovered that the Romans had been deep into the bowels of the earth before them...some curious hammers and tools...were found in these chambers, also the golden hilt of a Roman sword' Mining operations were conducted in the 18th C some 40 or 45 yds. below the Ffos, and parallel with it, is a series of old workings and lower down are others. There are also to be seen in a field less than 200 yds to the N.E..the remains of a modern mine. The evidence that the Romans worked here cannot be regarded as conclusive, in as much as it lacks circumstantiality and cannot be tested.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric settlement and defence. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structures themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

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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