Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Pen-y-Castell Group

A Scheduled Monument in Llanilar, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.3523 / 52°21'8"N

Longitude: -4.013 / 4°0'46"W

OS Eastings: 262995

OS Northings: 274596

OS Grid: SN629745

Mapcode National: GBR 8V.SYC5

Mapcode Global: VH4FS.D4CL

Entry Name: Pen-y-Castell Group

Scheduled Date: 28 May 1937

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1838

Cadw Legacy ID: CD024

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Hillfort

Period: Prehistoric

County: Ceredigion

Community: Llanilar

Traditional County: Cardiganshire


The monument comprises the remains of two earthwork enclosures. Item A is located on the summit of a rounded hill in a prominent position on the S side of the Afon Ystwyth. The enclosure is sub-oval in shape and measures 115m N-S by 55m transversely. A substantial bank defends the site. The date or precise nature of the enclosure is unknown. Some authorities consider it to be the remains of a small medieval motte and bailey, but an interpretation as a prehistoric defended enclosure is more likely. Item B is located 100m N of Item A on a gentle N-facing slope. The enclosure is trapezoidal in shape and probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman invasion of Wales). It measures 60m E-W by 55m transversely. The bank measures 0.2m in height and 4m in width. A simple gap in the NW corner marks the location of the entrance.

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 importance of the monument is further enhanced by the group value of the defended enclosures. The designation has been revised in order to reflect more accurately the archaeological evidence on the ground.

The scheduled areas comprise the remains described and areas around within which related evidence may be expected to survive. Area A is centred on Item A at NGR SN 62990 74550. It is irregular in shape on plan and measures 180m N-S by 130m transversely. Area B is centred on Item B at NGR SN 62300 74700. It is roughly square in shape on plan and measures 110m E-W by 110m transversely.

Source: Cadw

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