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Llanfor Roman Fort and Camps (revealed by Aerial Photography)

A Scheduled Monument in Llandderfel, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.9125 / 52°54'45"N

Longitude: -3.5822 / 3°34'56"W

OS Eastings: 293697

OS Northings: 336180

OS Grid: SH936361

Mapcode National: GBR 6F.ND9Q

Mapcode Global: WH675.Y2B1

Entry Name: Llanfor Roman Fort and Camps (revealed by Aerial Photography)

Scheduled Date: 25 January 1977

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3228

Cadw Legacy ID: ME092

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Fort

Period: Roman

County: Gwynedd

Community: Llandderfel

Traditional County: Merionethshire


The monument comprises the remains of a large fort, a pentagonal enclosure and part of a temporary camp, all dating to the Roman period (1st to 4th century AD) on the valley floor of the Afon Dyfrdwy (River Dee), S of the village of Llanfor. These are part of the larger Llanfor Roman military complex known from parch marks and the exceptionally clear results of geophysical survey. The sites are scarcely recognisable from the ground, but low scarps are occasionally visible.

The fort is a rectangular enclosure with rounded corners, 202m east-north-east to west-south-west by 184m, including the ramparts and covering an area of 3.86ha. It is defined by traces of a rampart fronted by triple ditches. To the NW the pentagonal enclosure is bounded by two ditches, it measures 147m by 101m and encloses 1.2 hectares. The pentagonal enclosure has been variously interpreted as a supply base, a storage compound or construction compound. Part of the circuit of a penannular ditch, some 21m in diameter, with a gap at the SE, was previously interpreted as a signalling station, but geophysical survey in 2009 revealed it to be the remains of a Bronze Age barrow. Evidence for the temporary camp takes the form of a single ditch with a rounded corner at the SW.

The internal buildings of the fort are known in considerable detail. These include twenty-two barrack blocks, which could have accommodated 1,760 soldiers. The fort faced east-north-east, where there are indications of an approach road lined with buildings. There are similar traces to the north-east. There is little dating evidence, but it is assumed that it pre-dates the Flavian (AD 69-96) fort at Caer Gai at the opposite end of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake). A very early Flavian date is also suggested by the few finds from the site and the large size and densely packed interior suggest association with an active force on campaign.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Roman defence. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structures themselves may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

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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