Ancient Monuments

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Hirfynydd Roman Earthwork

A Scheduled Monument in Seven Sisters (Blaendulais), Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.7466 / 51°44'47"N

Longitude: -3.6979 / 3°41'52"W

OS Eastings: 282880

OS Northings: 206685

OS Grid: SN828066

Mapcode National: GBR H7.12LG

Mapcode Global: VH5G9.VCGD

Entry Name: Hirfynydd Roman Earthwork

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2270

Cadw Legacy ID: GM274

Schedule Class: Communications

Category: Signal station

Period: Roman

County: Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

Community: Seven Sisters (Blaendulais)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a signal station dating to the Roman period (AD74 - AD410). The signal station sits at 451m above OD on a broad mountain ridge with a superb outlook in all directions, extending as far as the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire. The station stands on the line of the Roman road over Hirfynydd and consists of an approximately square earthwork measuring (between the crests of the rampart) 19.5m from north-west to south-east by 18.3m. The defences comprise a low, spread bank 1.8m-3.7m wide, with rounded corners and an external ditch. Internally, the bank is nowhere more than 0.3m high; externally it is 0.3m high along the south-east and south-west sides, 0.6m along the other two sides, and 0.9m at the west angle. The single entrance lay at the middle of the south-east side, facing the road. The ditch is 2.7-3.1m wide and at the entrance is interrupted by a causeway about 3.7m wide. There are no signs of any internal structures. A deep trench to the north of the site appears to be a quarry hollow.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the Roman conquest of Wales and Roman military life. The monument is an important relic of a Roman landscape and retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both intact deposits, together with environmental and structural evidence. Signal stations may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can be further enhanced by their group value.

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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