Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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

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Latitude: 51.6115 / 51°36'41"N

Longitude: -3.7509 / 3°45'3"W

OS Eastings: 278861

OS Northings: 191743

OS Grid: SS788917

Mapcode National: GBR H5.9M89

Mapcode Global: VH5GV.XRXJ

Entry Name: Pen-y-Castell

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 629

Cadw Legacy ID: GM098

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

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

Community: Cwmavon (Cwmafan)

Built-Up Area: Cwmavon

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort probably dating to the Iron Age (800 BC – AD 74). It is located on the summit of a small steep-sided hill at 150m above OD.

It measures 65m long from east to west by 30m wide enclosing 0.2ha, and is defended by a bank following the contours of the hill. The bank is 0.3m high internally but with an outer scarp nearly 3m high. At the eastern end is a simple entrance 4.5m wide. Outside the bank is a berm 6-7m wide, followed by a second rampart. This is missing on the north-eastern and along the eastern half of the northern side; along the western half of the north side it is visible as a bank 3m wide and 0.6m high. It is best preserved across the western end where it is 6m wide and nearly a metre high; along the southern side it forms a scarp fading into the natural slope. The entrance is on the east and is 14m wide; outside it are traces of an approach road winding up the hill.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of late prehistoric defensive organisation. The monument forms an important element within the wider Iron Age context and may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to elements such as chronology, building techniques and social organisation.

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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