Ancient Monuments

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Gaer Hill Camp, Penterry

A Scheduled Monument in Tintern (Tyndyrn), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.678 / 51°40'40"N

Longitude: -2.7002 / 2°42'0"W

OS Eastings: 351680

OS Northings: 197925

OS Grid: ST516979

Mapcode National: GBR JL.5FHY

Mapcode Global: VH87M.42VZ

Entry Name: Gaer Hill Camp, Penterry

Scheduled Date: 15 September 1933

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2346

Cadw Legacy ID: MM025

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Tintern (Tyndyrn)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of an earthwork/stone-built enclosure. The date or precise nature of the enclosure is unknown, but it is likely to be later prehistoric or medieval. The camp is situated on a hilltop in a commanding position, with panoramic views to the E, S and W. The ground drops away from the camp in all directions except to the N. There are two distinct parts of the camp: the outer bank and ditch and the inner enclosure.

The outer enclosure comprises a large roughly circular area, enclosed by a bank and ditch and in places an outer bank. The bank and ditch are missing on the NW side. The enclosure starts to the E of the farm buildings, with a ditch 3m wide and 1.5m deep on the inside and 0.5 to 1.2m deep on the outside, where there is a bank it is 0.5 to 1.2m high. The bank has a modern field boundary on it which incorporates an old field wall. Towards the E the ditch becomes gentler and shallower - 0.5 to 0.7m deep - and along the SE side the ditch is even shallower, with faint inner and outer banks. The defences continue N in an adjacent field where they are much clearer. Here, the inner bank is 1.5 to 2m high on the outside. Outside it is a ditch 3.5m wide, outside which is a bank 0.7m high on the inside and 1.2m high on the outside. These banks and ditch run NNE, at first in a grass field and then along the edge of a wood, where they are covered in light woodland. In the wood the inner bank is more massive, 0.7m high on the inside and 2m high on the outside. The outer bank is 1 to 1.5m high on the inside and 0.7m high on the outside. Outside it is a fence at the edge of the wood. There are small stones on the surfaces of the banks and ditch along their length in the wood. Towards the N side the bank is 1.7m high, the ditch is 2m wide and the outer bank is 1.7m high on the inside, with negligible height on the outside. At the W end of the outer bank a Trig Point stands on it. Both banks and ditches stop abruptly at the edge of the wood, and there is no sign of them continuing in the grass field beyond.

The Inner Enclosure is located in the centre of the larger outer enclosure. It is much smaller and roughly square in plan, defined by banks and a ditch. Its E side is in the wood, the rest is in pasture. The section in the wood is the best preserved and are well defined and steep sided. The ditch on the outside is 2m deep on both sides and is 2m wide. On the inside is a small bank 0.5m high on the inside. This has the field boundary (a fence) on top of it. In the NE corner the ditch and bank turn an abrupt right angle towards the S and continue in the wood. The ditch is 1.5 to 1.8m deep on the outside, 2m deep on the inside, with the small bank on the inside continuing. There is also a low bank, 0.7m high, on the outside. At the S end of this side this outer bank has almost gone. The ditch turns another right angle in the SE corner. For a short distance along the S side the outer bank is 1.8m high on the ditch side, while the inner bank is 2m high on the outside and 0.3m high on the inside. The inner bank continues at around 1m high.

Along the W side a gently sloping bank, 0.5m high, runs along the line of the inner bank. At the N end of this side it is joined by a similar outer bank, with a causeway across the ditch between them where the outer bank starts. Along the N side in the field there is a rough irregular shallow ditch which peters out at the western end. There are a few low ridges in the interior of the small enclosure, otherwise it is featureless.

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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