Pen-y-gaer, Pen-clawdd

Iron Age Hillfort

Pen-y-gaer in Pen-clawdd is the remains of a hillfort that is believed to date back to the Iron Age period, roughly between 800 BC and AD 74, during the Roman conquest of Wales. Hillforts are typically located on hilltops and are surrounded by one or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. While their function may have included defence, hillforts were also symbols of power within the landscape and often served ostentatious and display purposes.

Pen-y-gaer is situated on sloping ground between 75 and 90 meters above Ordnance Datum (OD) at the western end of the ridge to the south of Pen-clawdd. The fort has an oval plan, covering an area of approximately 0.9 hectares, measuring 16 meters from east to west and 95 meters wide. The southern side of the fort follows the crest of the ridge and is visible as a high scarp crowned by a modern field bank. The ground within the fort slopes steeply from south to north, and the northern side is formed by a very steep natural scarp. The eastern and western sides are defined by earthen ramparts, with the eastern rampart being better preserved, measuring 8 meters wide at the base and 3 meters in height, with its crest occupied by a modern field bank. The western rampart is slighter, measuring 6 meters wide and 1 meter in height. At the north-western and north-eastern sides, the bank gradually fades into the northern scarp. A gap on the eastern side appears to be a modern break, and the only original entrance appears to be at the southwestern side, where there is a gap of 4 meters between the tail of the western rampart and the southern scarp. There are no signs of internal structures within the fort.

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