Hirfynydd Ridge Fortlet

Fortlet and Signal Station

The Roman Fortlet on Hirfynydd Ridge lies on the ‘Sarn Helen’ Roman road about 3½ miles (c.5.6 km) south-west of the fort at Coelbren. The fortlet is almost square with sharp corner-angles, measuring 77 feet by 75½ feet (c.23.5 x 23 m) across the rampart crests, thus enclosing an area of only one-tenth of an acre (c.0.05 ha). The defences consisted of a single rampart and ditch, measuring 8 feet (c.2.4 m) and 5 feet (c.1.5 m) wide respectively; there is a single entrance gap, 10 feet (c.3 m) wide, in the centre of the south-eastern side, facing the Roman road.

Where lengths of highway between neighbouring forts followed a ridgeback, outposts or fortlets were typically founded on highpoints. This is the case with Hirfynydd, Pant-teg Uchaf  and Pen-y-Crocbren Fortlet.

References for Hirfynydd

  • Air Reconnaissance in Britain, 1958-1960 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. li (1961) p.126;

Map References for Hirfynydd

NGRef: SN8206 OSMap: LR160

OS National Grid Reference: SN828067
Dimensions: 77 x 75½ ft (c.23.5 x 23 m)
Area: c.0.1 acres (c.0.05 ha)

Roman Roads near Hirfynydd

Sarn Helen: NE (3.5) to Coelbren (West Glamorgan) Sarn Helen: SW (7.5) to Nidvm (Neath, West Glamorgan)