Ancient Monuments

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Fish traps on Beach south west of Aberarth

A Scheduled Monument in Dyffryn Arth, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.2505 / 52°15'1"N

Longitude: -4.2407 / 4°14'26"W

OS Eastings: 247133

OS Northings: 263730

OS Grid: SN471637

Mapcode National: GBR DK.06RX

Mapcode Global: VH3JL.FPYN

Entry Name: Fish traps on Beach SW of Aberarth

Scheduled Date: 3 March 2011

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 927

Cadw Legacy ID: CD281

Schedule Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Category: Fish weir

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Ceredigion

Community: Dyffryn Arth

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises a series of stone-built fishtraps, known locally as goredi, on the beach SW of Aberarth. Their dates are unknown but some of the fishtraps were in use until the early 20th century, and they occupy a site reputed to have been used by the monks of Strata Florida in the 12th century. The fishtraps are of national importance for their potential to enhance our knowledge of an industry which has been integral to Ceredigion for centuries, and whose remains are widespread along the coastline. The documentary association with Strata Florida increases the significance of the goredi at Aberarth, as does the recorded testimony of the last gored-keeper in the early 20th century. The visible remains overlap and abut each other, offering the chance to examine chronology, and the traps have substantial group value with other fishtraps all along the Ceredigion coast.

The fishtraps are all stone-built, occupying the stony foreshore and still holding water at their seaward edges and there are at least three separate traps. The most westerly is a simple arc made of lines of boulders up to 1m thick. The next is an irregular ‘W’ shape, and of different construction. At some points along its course an internal facing of herringbone style stonework can be seen, and at the best preserved, seaward side, the structure is double-skinned, with a rubble infill, and stands up to 3 courses and 0.5m in height, and 3m in width. The most easterly is the best preserved, and of a more massive construction. Walls up to 4m thick and 0.6m high are made of piled stones and rubble, and the ‘arms’ run the width of the beach, from the low-tide to the high-tide mark.

The scheduled area comprises those remains described above and an area surrounding them within which related evidence might be expected to survive. It is polygonal in shape, measuring 650m E-W and 175m N-S, centred on NGR SN4712863711.

Source: Cadw

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