Ancient Monuments

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Cwm Castell Iron Age Settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Llanfihangel Ystrad, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.1758 / 52°10'33"N

Longitude: -4.2398 / 4°14'23"W

OS Eastings: 246939

OS Northings: 255430

OS Grid: SN469554

Mapcode National: GBR DK.50YY

Mapcode Global: VH3JZ.GKFV

Entry Name: Cwm Castell Iron Age Settlement

Scheduled Date: 28 April 1989

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1897

Cadw Legacy ID: CD148

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Llanfihangel Ystrad

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 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. Cwm Castell is a well preserved hillfort, oval in shape, measuring c.110m north-west to south-east by a maximum of c.51m, the defences of which follow the crest of a small hill overlooking the Afon Feinog to the north. There is a defensive bank all around the hilltop, but the defences are most spectacular on the north, where there is a short outer bank in addition, and on the naturally weaker south, where there are two massive well-preserved banks and ditches. Here the inner bank has an internal height of c.1.5m and an external height of c.4m above the ditch, while the outer bank is c.1m high internally and c.2m externally above the bottom of the outer ditch. There is an inturned entrance on the south west.

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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