Ancient Monuments

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Great House Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Llangwm (Llan-gwm), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.726 / 51°43'33"N

Longitude: -2.8233 / 2°49'23"W

OS Eastings: 343233

OS Northings: 203354

OS Grid: SO432033

Mapcode National: GBR JF.2DJV

Mapcode Global: VH79Q.0WT6

Entry Name: Great House Camp

Scheduled Date: 6 July 1950

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2367

Cadw Legacy ID: MM105

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Llangwm (Llan-gwm)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument comprises the remains of a multivallate hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). It is situated on the NE end of a ridge overlooking the Olway valley and occupies a strategic position with extensive views in all directions. It consists of a large, roughly circular fort with Great House and associated farm buildings occupying the middle of the southern side. To the E of the house, along the S side, the banks and ditches are in an old orchard, grazed by sheep. There is an inner scarp 1.6m high, with a very shallow ditch outside it, followed by a wide berm and a shallow gently sloping ditch 5m wide, 1.5m deep on the inside and 1.2m deep on the outside. On the SE side the banks and ditches are in woodland and are steep sided and well preserved. The inner scarp is 1.7m high. Outside it is a ditch 3m wide with a bank 1.2m high outside it. The outer height of this bank is 1.7m, with another 3m wide ditch outside it. The next bank is 1.2m high on the inside and 2.2m high on the outside, with another 3m wide ditch outside it and a final bank 2m high on the inside and 1m high on the outside. Immediately outside this bank is the access road to the farm. At the S end of the E side there is a gap in the banks and ditches with a pond at the E end. The gap is 6m wide with very steep sides and is likely to be the original entrance to the fort. The banks and ditches on the S side are slightly more massive than along the SE side, the inner scarp being 2.5m high, the next bank being 2m high on the inside and 1.7m high on the outside. The outer banks remain more or less the same.

Along the E side there are only two banks and an inner scarp which in places becomes a bank with an inner height of 1m. The banks and ditches continue to be in woodland and are well preserved. The inner scarp is 2.2m high, the middle bank is 1.5-2m high on the inside and 2m-3m high on the outside. The outer bank is 1.2m high on the inside and 2m high on the outside. Towards the N end of this side the inner banks and ditches get shallower, and there is another gap in them at the N end. A ditch runs across the gap. The inner scarp is still 2.2m high, with a berm outside it and then another scarp 2m high. Outside this is a shallow ditch and then a gently sloping bank 1.5 m high.

On the NW side the banks and ditches are well preserved. The inner scarp is 2.5m-3m high with a 3m wide ditch outside it. There is then a bank 2m high on the inside and 2.5m high on the outside, outside which is a narrow berm and then a steep natural slope. Further SW the outer bank gradually lessens to become a berm. Half way along there is a gap, with steep drops down to it on both sides. Beyond this there is one massive scarp 5m high, a short berm and then a natural slope. At the S end the scarp stops and the ground levels out. The interior of the fort is generally flat and there are not traces of any surface features.

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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