Ancient Monuments

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Muriau'r Gwyddelod Ancient Village

A Scheduled Monument in Harlech, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.8511 / 52°51'3"N

Longitude: -4.1026 / 4°6'9"W

OS Eastings: 258512

OS Northings: 330244

OS Grid: SH585302

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.SKWP

Mapcode Global: WH55Z.YLKN

Entry Name: Muriau'r Gwyddelod Ancient Village

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3198

Cadw Legacy ID: ME010

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Courtyard house

Period: Prehistoric

County: Gwynedd

Community: Harlech

Built-Up Area: Harlech

Traditional County: Merionethshire


A large scheduled area covering some 15 ha. It contains 3 enclosed homesteads and one enclosure, at least three rectangular huts, and many traces of early fields. The scheduled area is cut into two parts by the road, but the excellent state of preservation of the settlement sites and field system make this one of the best sites of its type in Gwynedd.

The sites will be labelled 10a to 10e and described individually.

Archaeological Item # ME010A The site, which consists of two connected hut settlements, is described in detail by Gresham, and remains as described. The S site has been re-used as a sheepfold, and the walls have been rebuilt and disturbed. However, the outer face of the enclosure wall is often visible and clearly shows the short, straight lengths in which it was built.

The larger N enclosure, with three round huts, is much better preserved, although there may also have been some rebuilding of walls here. The field system connected to the settlements is very well preserved.

Archaeological Item # ME010B Bowen & Gresham: An enclosed homestead of oval shape containing a single circular room 24 ft in diameter. Its long axis is placed across the slope from NE to SW, and its overall dimensions are 90 ft by 72 ft. The entrance to the courtyard seems to be at the NE end, where the enclosing wall is thickest. The structure is much ruined, but has escaped any very drastic clearance of material.

AFD text: This site appeared to be as described by Gresham, but was too overgrown with gorse and bracken to examine fully.

Archaeological Item # ME010C A circular enclosure 21 m in diameter with massive walls 5 m thick. There are no remains visible in the interior of the enclosure. As Gresham says, the present massive walls are the result of field clearance, and these obscure the original enclosure. The enclosure has been used as a sheepfold, and lambing shelters have been built into its walls.

Archaeological Item # ME010D Two long huts in an area of rough grazing containing much stone and bracken. Early field walls and stone clearance piles lie all around the huts.

a: 13 m long by 6 m wide overall. It is crossed by a footpath. Door possibly in long N wall. A field wall connected to the SE corner forms a teraced enclosure E of the hut.

b: 4 m by 4 m internally with a rounded extension at the E end. There is a solid wall between the rectangular hut and the apsidal extension.

Archaeological Item # ME010E A single long hut, 8 m by 3 m internally, with walls 1 m wide. The farmer informed me that the site had been partly excavated by Coleg Harlech some 20 years ago. It is now partly overgrown with bramble.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric settlement and 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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