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Early Fields and Dwellings East of Llanllechid

A Scheduled Monument in Bethesda, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1966 / 53°11'47"N

Longitude: -4.05 / 4°3'0"W

OS Eastings: 263149

OS Northings: 368576

OS Grid: SH631685

Mapcode National: GBR 5T.2LMZ

Mapcode Global: WH548.RXM9

Entry Name: Early Fields and Dwellings East of Llanllechid

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3183

Cadw Legacy ID: CN121

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Enclosed hut circle

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Bethesda

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


An extensive system of terraced fields and associated huts - including single huts, unenclosed and enclosed hut groups. The area consists partly of cultivated fields and partly of broken, bracken-covered ground and rough pasture. The scheduled area consists of some 60 acres of upland ffridd and a small area of unenclosed mountain. Underlying and coinciding with the existing field system is a series of terraced fields with associated settlements. The early fields and settlements are not all of the same period and may range in date from the early prehistoric to the late medieval. The fields are demarcated by terraces, often up to 3 m high, or by stone and earth banks (when the boundary runs with the slope). There are two lengths of trackway passing between the fields and linking some of the settlements. Within the area are [at least] 15 settlement sites: 4 enclosed hut groups, 1 circular enclosure, 4 unenclosed hut groups, 4 individual round huts, 1 long hut, 1 undated rectangular structure, and the site of a destroyed enclosed hut group.

Archaeological Item # CN121A An oval enclosed hut group on the bank of a small stream. It is oriented E - W and contains 3 huts on the S side and one on the N. A track way approaches from the E. A modern sheep pen has been built onto the NE side of the enclosure. Two early field boundaries abut the enclosure and run off to the N and NW.

Archaeological Item # CN121B A much ruined and difficult to interpret hut group. Two huts to the S and W are clearly visible, as is the bank joining them. The N huts are present, but indistinct. An early track way approaches from the S. The site is covered in bracken and thorn trees are growing inside the huts. Early fields are present to the S and E, where waterlogged conditions may have preserved archaeological remains.

Archaeological Item # CN121C An oval enclosed hut group containing three huts. The site is crossed by a modern wall, and the SW part of the hut group lies on the open mountain, whereas the NE part lies on enclosed land. The site has been damaged by modern field walls. The S wall acts as a strong revetment wall, but it becomes confused with a modern wall in the SE corner.

Archaeological Item # CN121D A large oval enclosure, 39m by 29m, containing one round hut which has an internal diameter of 8m. The interior of the enclosure has been levelled and the enclosure wall forms a revetment on the E side and creates a terrace on the W. The W boundary is followed by a modern wall and a hedge of hawthorn and blackthorn. Thorn trees also grow in the vicinity of the hut and the E boundary.

Archaeological Item # CN121E An enclosure consisting of a level circular area 28m in diameter with a strong enclosing wall c.2m thick. The E side is cut into the slope, forming a revetment of some 2.5m and the W side sits on a terrace which is surmounted by a modern stone wall. The S side has been robbed of stone and a modern wall has been built slightly off the course of the original. Early field boundaries lie to the S and E of the site and one low, grass covered bank seems to abut the monument on the SE side.

Archaeological Item # CN121F Three unenclosed huts lying on a level platform. A modern boundary now runs between the hut to the NE and the other two lying to the SW. It has an internal diameter of 6.5m and a 1m wide entrance on the NW; the hut wall is about 1m thick, faced with large stones. The hut to the S is also about 6.5m diameter, but with a slightly thicker wall. The entrance, 1.5m wide, is on the NW side. The remaining hut is smaller than the others, about 4.75m diameter, and survives as grass covered walls.

Archaeological Item # CN121G Two round huts lying between a well-defined lynchet and an early trackway.

Archaeological Item # CN121H Between a lynchet and an old trackway are two round huts. Adjoining the E hut is a modern sheepfold.

Archaeological Item # CN121I A rectangular hut with rounded corners 6.5m by 3m. Walls of earth and stone 1m thick and 0.5m high. There is also a low stone bank running from the NE towards the site.

Archaeological Item # CN121J The remains of a round hut 7.2m in diameter, and with an entrance 1.5m wide on the S side. A large stone forms the W jamb of the doorway. The W side of the hut has been badly damaged by a modern wall, which is supplemented by a hedge of thorn trees. To the S of the main hut there is another circular structure 4m in diameter which is in a very ruined condition.

Archaeological Item # CN121K A single round hut, 4.9m in diameter, forming a level platform in ground sloping to the NW. Low grass grown walls.

Archaeological Item # CN121L A single round hut, 4.9m in diameter, forming a level platform in ground sloping steeply to the W. Low grass grown walls, with an entrance on the N side.

Archaeological Item # CN121M A round hut, 4.75m in diameter, forming a small platform in ground sloping to the NW. It has been damaged on the N and W by modern walls. A large stone 2.25m by 1.2m by 0.6m lies on the NE side. The remaining walls are grass grown.

Archaeological Item # CN121N Two rectangular huts. (i) To the SW a long hut 6m by 4m. The NE wall has an inner face of large stone slabs, the other walls appear as grass grown banks. (ii) To the NE a long hut 12m by 5.75m, of grass grown banks.

Archaeological Item # CN121O A rectangular structure.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric and medieval settlement organisation. 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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