These camps were first identified in 1991 during an aerial survey of the military complex at Abertanat, just over ½ mile to the north ( < 1 km). The fort at Llansantffraid lies just over a mile to the west (c.1.7km). The camps lie on separate sides of a palaeochannel marking the former course of the River Vyrnwy. They were investigated on the ground in 1991 during which a number of field-ovens were discovered set into the rear of the known rampart of both camps, also in 1992 when sections were taken across each camp’s defences. Investigations have since then centred around the northernmost, Camp-B, by archaeologists wielding hi-tech magnetometric equipment. The Abertanat/Clawdd Coch/Llansantffraid complex lies near the borders of the counties of Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire and Shropshire.
Clawdd Coch A
DIMENSIONS c.750 x c.890 ft (c.230 x c.270 m)
AREA c.15¼ acres (c.6.2 ha)
This camp is known only from its well-rounded E angle and about (100m) of the adjacent NE and SE sides. Another ditch, 525 ft long (160m), lying about 100 ft (30m) to the E of the SE ditch and parallel with it, may be either an annexe or another camp. The SW part of the camp has been eroded by the Vyrnwy. The SE ditch was excavated in 1992 and found to be V-shaped, 7¼ feet wide and 2¼ feet deep (2.2 x 0.7 m). Investigations undertaken at the corner-angle revealed the gravel-filled timber frame of a box-rampart 7½ ft (c.2.3 m) wide. The ditch here was about 7 ft (2.1 m) wide with a W-profile. Three periods of occupation were identified. There is space enough for a camp measuring about 750 ft (c.230m) SE-NW by about 890 ft (c.270m) transversely, giving an area of 15¼ acres (c.6.2ha) at most.
Clawdd Coch B
AREA c.12½ acres (c.5 ha)
This irregular polygonal camp apparently utilised a tongue of land formed by the the natural scarps carved and deposited in ancient times by natural forces at the confluence of the Tanat and Vyrnwy. Excavations in 1992 revealed a succession of three W-profiled ditches running along the Vyrnwy escarpment, respectively 12¾ ft, 6½ ft & 7¾ ft wide (3.9 m, 2.0 m & 2.4 m), backed by a timber revetted box-rampart about 6½ ft wide (2m). Roman military field ovens have been found along the western scarp edge which would originally have been built into the back of this rampart. There are signs on A.P.’s of a lengthy ditch running E-W across the north-end of the spit of land of which the camp lies, which may have formed the camp’s N defences, enclosed an annexe, or perhaps even belongs to another encampment. Field ovens indicating the position of the S defences were discovered by geophysical survey in 1993, and the clay bank of the E defences uncovered during ploughing was investigated by GeoPhys the following year. These discoveries have allowed an initial estimate of the size of the camp to be made, which must be in excess of 12½ acres (c.5ha).
References for Clawdd Coch Camps
- Britannia xxii (1991) pp.223/4 & fig.2;
- Britannia xxiii (1992) pp.256-8 & fig.2;
- Britannia xxiv (1993) p.271 & fig.3;
- Britannia xxv (1994) p.246;
- Britannia xxvi (1995) p.326.
Map References for Clawdd Coch Camps
NGRef: SJ2519 OSMap: LR126
Roman Roads near Clawdd Coch Camps