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Enclosed Hut Circle Settlement and Long huts east of Egryn Abbey

A Scheduled Monument in Dyffryn Ardudwy, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7603 / 52°45'37"N

Longitude: -4.0764 / 4°4'35"W

OS Eastings: 259982

OS Northings: 320102

OS Grid: SH599201

Mapcode National: GBR 5S.Z08L

Mapcode Global: WH56D.CW37

Entry Name: Enclosed Hut Circle Settlement and Long huts E of Egryn Abbey

Scheduled Date: 24 January 1996

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1451

Cadw Legacy ID: ME153

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Enclosed hut circle settlement

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Dyffryn Ardudwy

Traditional County: Merionethshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement of multiple hut circles, which probably dates from the first millennium BC with later medieval or post-medieval settlement. The site lies on sloping, W-facing ground at the foot of a scarp overlooking the coastal plain near Egryn Abbey. The prehistoric monument comprises a single small circular enclosure with traces of a possible surrounding outer enclosure or terrace. Within the main enclosure are remains of one or two circular huts. The whole main enclosure is terraced into the sloping ground and there are also various terraces nearby which might be the remains of an associated lyncheted field system. A small part of the site may have been affected and possibly damaged on the S side, where it is crossed by a modern field wall, on the S of which are the remains of a small building. The main, inner enclosure bank is massively built, c. 2 m wide and up to 1 m high, with stone facing. It is generally sub-circular in plan, although the detailed survey suggests it may be polygonal. There is a probable entrance on the NW side. The 'outer' enclosure bank was identified by Gresham, but it is tenuous and may be just the remnants of a terrace which was cut to build the settlement, and the settlement is therefore not a 'concentric enclosure' but a 'circular enclosure'. The 'bank' on the uphill side could have been created as a positive lynchet or field boundary after prolonged cultivation on the slope above. Within the enclosure a circular area was identified by Gresham as a centrally-placed circular hut. However, observation now suggests that this central area was perhaps just a courtyard, with the platform for a circular hut c. 6 m in diameter adjoining the enclosure wall on the NE side. The later small medieval or possibly post-medieval settlement lies on a moderate west-facing slope with steeper ground rising to the east. The area around has been enclosed and partially improved, but islands of stony unimproved grassland remain and it is here that field monuments can survive in excellent condition. This settlement comprises the foundations of two modest rectangular stone structures, each occupying a small platform scarped into the hillside. The northernmost measures 3m x 6m internally, and in on the uphill side the wall stands some 1.5m high - supported by the rising ground. There is an entrance on the south side towards the east end, but the quantity of upstanding masonry suggests this structure has been maintained in use - perhaps as a sheepfold - in more recent years. Immediately to the south of this is another rectangular foundation measuring 4m x 8m internally. This has less visible masonry but is probably undisturbed. The western end of the foundation runs beneath the field enclosure wall suggesting that the building had long been out of use before the field wall was constructed, probably in the 18th century. There are traces of a hood around the uphill side. The buildings are set parallel, and at right angles to the contour of then hill. To the south of the buildings, in the area between the medieval settlement and the earlier Romano-British settlement (item A) are the remains of very pronounced lynchets some as much as 1.5 m high. These could be associated with either settlement or possibly both.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric and medieval settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric/medieval 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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