Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gaer Fach

A Scheduled Monument in Merthyr Cynog, Powys

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Latitude: 52.0193 / 52°1'9"N

Longitude: -3.4453 / 3°26'43"W

OS Eastings: 300919

OS Northings: 236639

OS Grid: SO009366

Mapcode National: GBR YM.GS28

Mapcode Global: VH6BK.7HGV

Entry Name: Gaer Fach

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1721

Cadw Legacy ID: BR053

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Powys

Community: Merthyr Cynog

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises the remains of a promontory fort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). The site comprises a small bivallate fort occupying a prominent position on the summit of a ridge rising to 413m AOD. The ground falls away from the site steeply in all directions, especially on the SE side where there is a sharp drop between 15m and 25m deep. The defences are formed by this natural escarpment on the SE side, and by a single curved bank with an external ditch on all other sides. The partial remains of a second, outer, bank rampart survive at the NE end of the site, curving around the from the escarpment 30m from the inner rampart, and at the SW end where a 20m long stretch of bank lies immediately outside the ditch. The inner rampart bank and ditch have been denuded, with the bank surviving to a maximum height of 1.8m and the ditch only visible as a line of lusher grass outside the bank. The outer ramparts survive to around 2m above the base of the ditch. The ditches are rock cut and the banks constructed from earth and stone rubble, probably quarried from the ditches. The entrance apears to have been at the NE end through a gap in the rampart and the natural escarpment.

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 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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