Ancient Monuments

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Cefn Moel Round Houses

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

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Latitude: 51.8997 / 51°53'58"N

Longitude: -3.2288 / 3°13'43"W

OS Eastings: 315552

OS Northings: 223065

OS Grid: SO155230

Mapcode National: GBR YW.QKRN

Mapcode Global: VH6C7.ZJG1

Entry Name: Cefn Moel Round Houses

Scheduled Date: 6 June 2019

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1346

Cadw Legacy ID: BR423

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Hut circle settlement

Period: Bronze Age

County: Powys

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

Built-Up Area: Bwlch

Traditional County: Brecknockshire


The monument comprises a group of three circular earthwork platforms defined by shallow gullies thought to represent the remains of late prehistoric round huts, with sections of associated enclosures. These occupy an exposed local summit on the ridge of Cefn Moel. There are expansive views to the east and south-east across Cwm Rhiangoll. Similar views to the west are blocked by a post-medieval boundary wall. The platforms measure between 10.2m and 11.3m in diameter. The surrounding gullies average 1m wide and a maximum of 0.3m deep. Anthills have partially obscured the earthworks. The absence of stone on the platforms indicates that they are likely to have been timber roundhouses, now represented only by the drip gullies of their roof-eaves, rather than a form of barrow as the funerary monuments on this ridge are all stone cairns. Associated with the platforms are the remains of a small rectilinear enclosure at the break of the slope a few metres to the north, defined by a right-angled scarp and intermittent ditch some 0.7m deep. This probably represents the remains of an associated field system or stock enclosure. The monument is likely to be of late prehistoric origin and could date from as early as the Bronze Age (ca. 2500-800BC) to the Roman Iron Age period or later.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric upland exploitation in the Black Mountains. The platforms are the only known examples of a variant to the more usual stone-built roundhouses common in the region. They share group value with potentially contemporary prehistoric settlement features and funerary cairns located on the same ridge. The platforms have high potential to retain buried structural remains, deposits and artefactual evidence for their construction, occupation and date, and are likely to seal buried soils retaining evidence of the contemporary environment. The survival and subsequent identification of these slight earthworks is due to their covering of grass rather than the adjacent gorse or bracken; they are therefore highly vulnerable to damage.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described above and the area around them within which related remains might be expected to survive. It is rectangular in shape on plan and measures 70m north-south by 55m east-west.

Source: Cadw

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