Ancient Monuments

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Garn Fawr Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Pencaer (Pen-caer), Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 52.008 / 52°0'28"N

Longitude: -5.0676 / 5°4'3"W

OS Eastings: 189562

OS Northings: 238839

OS Grid: SM895388

Mapcode National: GBR CF.HRP8

Mapcode Global: VH1QD.3SVJ

Entry Name: Garn Fawr Camp

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2669

Cadw Legacy ID: PE065

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Pencaer (Pen-caer)

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort which probably date to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales) and other features of contemporary or later date. Hillforts are understood to have formed symbols of power within the landscape and Garn Fawr dominates the surroundings of the prominent craggy outcrop it occupies at the west end of Pen-caer, it is a complex and multi-phase site likely to have had an extended period of occupation. At its core is a main enclosure, roughly square in plan and about 90m across defined by a collapsed stone rampart which incorporates several rocky outcrops in its circuit. Down-slope of this on the east side are other lines of rampart; of earth or stone with some evidence of phasing suggesting the earth banks are earlier. Along a centrally paced entrance route now occupied by a modern track the ramparts shoe evidence of expanded terminals and in turning. Down-slope of the main enclosure on the west side a further stone rampart defines an annexe. The main enclosure interior has a group of least eleven probable hut circles. A pronounced depression in the slope on the western side which has possible traces of walling is conjectured to represent a larger central structure. Other hut circles have been identified set against the interior of one of the outer eastern ramparts. Parts of the collapsed defences of the interior and of the western annexe show remodelling at a later date to construct walls and a series of small rectangular shelters, these are likely to indicate later agricultural use of the site at a period before 1700 AD.

To the south of the hillfort is another defended enclosure: Ysgubor Gaer. This has two lines of defence; an inner stony bank up to 3.3m defining an internal area c. 35m east to west and 30m north to south with a less substantial outer bank set about 32m from the first and which is absent from the north side where the slope becomes steep and craggy. The entrance is through the south side, in-turned in the outer bank, and passing by a suggested causeway to a simple gap in the inner bank. There is a building platform within the northwest corner of the enclosure, and possibly another in the north east corner.

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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