Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Nant Barre Caerau

A Scheduled Monument in Penbryn, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.1185 / 52°7'6"N

Longitude: -4.3963 / 4°23'46"W

OS Eastings: 236032

OS Northings: 249399

OS Grid: SN360493

Mapcode National: GBR DB.8Q61

Mapcode Global: VH3K8.R07R

Entry Name: Nant Barre Caerau

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1853

Cadw Legacy ID: CD054

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Penbryn

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of a defended enclosure, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Inland promontory forts are usually located on a ridge or spur with steep slopes on 2 or 3 sides, and artificial ramparts on the level approaches. Alternatively they may have been constructed on a promontory above the confluence of two rivers, or in the bend of a meander. Nant Barre Caerau could be said to fulfil both criteria, standing on a steep-sided promontory above a bend in the little Nant Barre. The main defences are on the southern and eastern sides, where a double bank and outer ditch were provided; the southern portion of these defences, which may have been cultivated in the past, now has a maximum height of 0.9m with an 0.5m deep outer ditch, but on the east the banks stand up to 4.0m high, though the outer ditch has been removed by the construction of a track. The position of the original entrance is not apparent.

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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