Ancient Monuments

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Pen y Bannau Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Ystrad Fflur, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.2855 / 52°17'7"N

Longitude: -3.846 / 3°50'45"W

OS Eastings: 274179

OS Northings: 266871

OS Grid: SN741668

Mapcode National: GBR 92.Y3QQ

Mapcode Global: VH4G2.9T48

Entry Name: Pen y Bannau Camp

Scheduled Date: 22 September 1949

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1876

Cadw Legacy ID: CD109

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Ystrad Fflur

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Hillforts are usually Iocated on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. Hillforts must have formed symbols of power within the landscape, while their function may have had as much to do with ostentation and display as defence. Pen y Bannau Camp is a long narrow hilltop settlement, aligned north-east to south-west, and measuring overall c.190m by between c.20m and c.40m internally. It is surrounded on all sides by steep natural slopes, but especially so on the west, where there appear to be no artificial defences apart from a few slight possible traces of scarping. The enclosure is divided into two parts by a natural rocky boss, separating the northern third of the site from the rather lower southern two-thirds. The northern section of the site is defended by an inner bank on the east, north-east and north-west, with an entrance gap midway along the north-eastern side. This entrance is further defended by two outer banks and ditches across the ridge to the north-east of the site, with gaps through each arranged so as to form an oblique entrance passage running up from the east. The banks here average c.1-2m high internally and c.4m externally above well-preserved ditches. The inner bank continues along the eastern and south-eastern sides of the lower, southern, portion of the site in rather slighter form, rising up to a maximum of c.0.6m internally; an irregular gap about halfway along is probably modern. All the defences, including the assumed line on the west, incorporate rock outcrops; there may have been a small amount of quarrying at one point on the west, but this is well grown over. Slight traces in the interior of the northern section may indicate the positions of former round huts.

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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