Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castell Rhyfel

A Scheduled Monument in Tregaron, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.2224 / 52°13'20"N

Longitude: -3.8576 / 3°51'27"W

OS Eastings: 273203

OS Northings: 259874

OS Grid: SN732598

Mapcode National: GBR Y1.25RQ

Mapcode Global: VH4GG.2DZM

Entry Name: Castell Rhyfel

Scheduled Date: 20 May 1949

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 515

Cadw Legacy ID: CD066

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Tregaron

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


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 Iocated on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. They 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 monument crowns one of the rounded summits of a ridge at c. 500m above OD. The sides of the ridge drop away very steeply. The ridge itself descends sharply to saddles on either side of the fort. The defences are slight and show as a terrace between 6m and 12m wide with the outer scarp falling at a sharper angle than the hill side. The irregular scoops at the back of the terrace suggest either hut platforms or quarries. There is now no visible ditch. The entrance is on the north-east with a track sloping obliquely up from the saddle. The elevation of the fort is unusual. It is situated within a landscape of open sheep pasture.

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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