Ancient Monuments

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Defended Enclosure 500m north of Pen y Castell

A Scheduled Monument in Llanrhystyd (Llanrhystud), Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.2972 / 52°17'49"N

Longitude: -4.1453 / 4°8'42"W

OS Eastings: 253804

OS Northings: 268732

OS Grid: SN538687

Mapcode National: GBR 8P.XG02

Mapcode Global: VH4FX.3JF9

Entry Name: Defended Enclosure 500m N of Pen y Castell

Scheduled Date: 7 May 2008

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1259

Cadw Legacy ID: CD270

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Enclosure - Defensive

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Llanrhystyd (Llanrhystud)

Built-Up Area: Llanrhystud

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of two defended enclosures, which probably date to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Item A, also known as Castell-Bach, is located on a prominent knoll. The enclosure is sub-oval in shape and measures 110m NE-SW by 65m transversely. The site is defended by a bivallate rampart on all sides except for the NW, which is defended by naturally steep slopes. The inner bank measures up to 3m in height externally. There is a simple E-facing entrance. The outer ditch is only visible on aerial photographs. Item B, known as Castell-Mawr, is located 200m SW of Item A on an inland NW-facing promontory. The enclosure is roughly circular in shape and measures 120m in diameter. Aerial photographs show that site is defended by a triple series of ditches constructed across the promontory neck on the NE and SE sides, with steep natural scarps on the other sides. On the ground, the inner bank measures up to 2m in height externally. There is a simple E-facing entrance. A second bank on the SE side measures up to 0.5m in height.

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 importance of the monument is further enhanced by the group value of the defended enclosures.

The scheduled areas comprise the remains described and areas around within which related evidence may be expected to survive. Area A is centred on Item A at NGR SN 5388 6887. It is irregular in shape on plan and measures 142m NE-SW by 98m transversely. Area B is centred on Item B at NGR SN 5375 6864. It is irregular in shape on plan and measures 178m E-W by 174m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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