Ancient Monuments

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Pen-y-gaer Roman Vicus, Cwmdu

A Scheduled Monument in Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine (Llanfihangel Cwm Du gyda Bwlch a Chathedin), Powys

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Latitude: 51.8888 / 51°53'19"N

Longitude: -3.2096 / 3°12'34"W

OS Eastings: 316848

OS Northings: 221828

OS Grid: SO168218

Mapcode National: GBR YX.R4H9

Mapcode Global: VH6C8.BS1F

Entry Name: Pen-y-gaer Roman Vicus, Cwmdu

Scheduled Date: 12 June 2015

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1350

Cadw Legacy ID: BR427

Schedule Class: Civil

Category: Vicus

Period: Roman

County: Powys

Community: Llanfihangel Cwmdu with Bwlch and Cathedine (Llanfihangel Cwm Du gyda Bwlch a Chathedin)

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The following is a general description of the scheduled ancient monument.

The monument comprises the extensive buried remains of the western part of a vicus or civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Pen-y-gaer, revealed by geophysical survey and trial excavation by the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust between 2005 and 2012. It is located on level pasture in the Rhiangoll Basin to the north of the Ewyn Brook, on the western side of the present lane, which probably follows the line of the Roman road. This rises gently uphill towards the southern defences of the fort which occupy an isolated glacial hillock to the N. There are no upstanding remains of the vicus, the well-preserved foundations of walls, floors and other surfaces observed during excavations being buried between 0.3m and 1m under the surface. These include an apparent industrial complex towards the southern end of the field comprising the foundations of at least three buildings, interpreted as stone sleeper walls for timber-framed superstructures with tiled roofs. Associated with these were several floors, an area of metalworking debris, a well, a hearth and a stone-lined drain running the length of the excavated area. Two trenches running east-west from the road exposed the remains of a fourth structure containing a small domestic oven overlying traces of earlier buildings and possible floor surfaces, post holes and rubble. Geophysical survey has indicated that these are likely to have formed part of a more extensive group of buildings ranged alongside the via principalis or Roman road running to the S gate of the fort. All three trenches produced finds ranging from ceramic roof tiles, pottery, glass, metal work and slag indicating occupation between the 1st and the 3rd centuries AD. An upright stone, presumed to be a cattle-scratcher of relatively recent date stands in the centre of the field.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of Roman military vici, civilian settlements and industry. It is associated with Pen-y-Gaer Roman Fort (scheduled monument BR174) immediately to the north and has been shown through excavation to contain important archaeological evidence of the chronology of the Roman occupation of mid-Wales.

The scheduled area includes the remains described above and the area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular in plan, corresponding to the boundaries of the field its longest measurements being 125m N-S by 95m E-W.

Source: Cadw

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