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Mynydd y Castell Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Margam, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5654 / 51°33'55"N

Longitude: -3.7238 / 3°43'25"W

OS Eastings: 280616

OS Northings: 186572

OS Grid: SS806865

Mapcode National: GBR H6.DN2B

Mapcode Global: VH5H2.DXRC

Entry Name: Mynydd y Castell Camp

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2869

Cadw Legacy ID: GM162

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

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

Community: Margam

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Description

The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric hillfort. Dating to the Iron Age (c. 800BC – AD74), an isolated hill has been fortified by a single rampart. The enclosed area, 2.7ha, is roughly D-shaped with the east side straight and measures 260m north to south by 135m wide. The defences consist of a massive bank or scarp accompanied by a ditch with a counterscarp bank. There is no indication of a revetment. Outside the rampart the ground falls away steeply.

The main bank is best preserved along the east side where it is 8.5-15m wide, up to 1m high internally and from 4-5 to 8.5m high externally. Along the north and west sides it forms a scarp 7 to 12m wide and of similar external height. The ditch, 3 to 4.5m wide, is only visible as such along the east side and on the north-west and south-west; elsewhere it forms a terrace 5 to 6m wide. The counterscarp bank is only evident as such in those places where the ditch remains visible; its inner side is about 0.7m high. On the north, and again on the west, its outer toe is faintly visible, indicating a width of 6 to 9m, but in most places its outer scarp merges without a break into the steep natural slope. At the southern end of the fort natural crags are incorporated in the defensive lines.

One entrance is on the south-west, where a ramp 4 to 5.5m wide cuts through the outer scarp from the south and enters a natural hollow between the slightly in-turned ends of the inner scarp. At the north-east corner of the hill-fort modern quarrying has confused the layout of the defences, but it seems likely that an original entrance existed here also. The modern track on to the hill approaches from the south-east and bends sharply southward as it enters the interior. The south side of the turn is commanded by a high scarp that appears to be a continuation of the inner rampart of the fort, and there is even a suggestion of a guard-chamber in the extreme angle of the defences on the north side of the track; but it is not clear whether these features are preserved from an original layout or are due to modern disturbance.

The interior does not seem to have been ploughed, but there are no certain traces of early habitation. A round levelled area at the south end resembles a hut-platform, but in view of the absence of platforms from the rest of the site it may well be modern, to be associated either with the construction of the adjacent reservoir or with the small ruined masonry building ‘Hen Gastell’, probably the summer-house mentioned in 1811.

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, layout, 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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