Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ffridd Fechan Fort

A Scheduled Monument in Barmouth (Bermo), Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.7406 / 52°44'26"N

Longitude: -4.0526 / 4°3'9"W

OS Eastings: 261528

OS Northings: 317857

OS Grid: SH615178

Mapcode National: GBR 8T.0DTC

Mapcode Global: WH56L.QCDV

Entry Name: Ffridd Fechan Fort

Scheduled Date: 7 May 1991

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2495

Cadw Legacy ID: ME127

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Barmouth (Bermo)

Traditional County: Merionethshire


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. The monument has good views, and is defensible except that it is overlooked on the north east by higher ground within projectile range. The interior is oval, and uneven, with outcropping rock and several steps or (at least partly) natural small terraces within; more than one of these looks likely to have been utilised as a hut platform. The wall remains to a height of 1 m, often more, on the north and east, except where the modern field wall which cuts off a sliver of the site on the north west goes through. On the north east the gap utilised by this wall could be the original entrance. On the south and west much less of the wall survives; as there is no field wall here the cause is unlikely to be robbing, and it seems that the stone has simply fallen off the hillside - some can be seen scattered below. Several areas of external facing survive, particularly on the N. The construction method can be seen: the wall is composed of long, narrow slabs, laid at right-angles to the line of the wall to form the body of it, but with a facing on the outside (and possibly once also on the inside) of the same kind of slabs laid parallel with the wall. More external facing is visible on the north than is shown in this sketch, however. The area of internal facing on the south east is still visible, but much less than 1.8 m high.

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.

Source: Cadw

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