Tredegar Fort (Gaer Hillfort)

Iron Age Hillfort

Tredegar hillfort, also known as Gaer Hillfort is believed to be of Iron Age origin (circa 800 BC – AD 74), is located on a commanding hilltop in Newport and is roughly circular in shape, measuring approximately 300m in diameter. It consists of multiple lines of banks and ditches, forming a multivallate structure.

On the northeast side, the inner bank reaches a height of 1m on the inside and 2.5m on the outside, with a small ditch measuring 3m wide and 1m deep immediately outside it. Beyond this is a wide flat area, followed by an outer bank that reaches up to 2.5m in height on the inside, with the highest point at the centre of this side, and 4m in height on the outside. A ditch measuring 3m to 4m wide and 2m to 2.5m deep runs outside the outer bank, with steep sides. There is a 2m wide gap in the outer bank, opposite which there is a low causeway across the ditch. Further northwest, there is a wide causeway across the inner ditch.

At the northern end of the northeast side, the defences turn sharply towards the southwest. The inner bank becomes a scarp that reaches a height of 3m, with a ditch measuring 3m wide and 0.8m deep outside it. Towards the western end, there is a 2m wide gap in the inner scarp, with causeways across both ditches. At the southern end of this side, the defences start to curve around to the south. The inner scarp reaches a height of 4m at this point, with the ditch outside it measuring 3m wide and 0.8m deep. The bank outside the ditch is 1.5m high, and below it, the ground slopes down to another scarp that reaches a height of 3m. An outer bank measuring 2m in height on the outside splits away from the scarp above it and becomes an outer third line of defence on the southwest side. This outer bank becomes more massive, measuring 2m to 3m in height, with a 3m wide gap in it, but no corresponding gaps in the inner banks. The inner scarp on this side reaches a height of 3m, with a steep-sided ditch measuring 2m in height outside it. Beyond this, the former outer scarp continues as a bank measuring 1m in height on the inside, with a ditch outside it measuring 2m in depth. In the middle of this side, the two inner ditches have causeways across them, measuring 4m in width, with corresponding gaps in the banks. To the east of this, the middle bank becomes less prominent, and the ditch becomes shallower. There is a wide gap in the outer ditch, which then continues towards the east and gradually diminishes. The outer bank also continues towards the east, but at a lower height, and eventually fades out. The inner scarp is lower towards the east, measuring 2.3m in height, and the ditch becomes negligible in this area.

On the southeast side, the ground slopes gently towards the southeast. The inner scarp reaches a height of 2.5m, and outside it is level ground. Towards the southernmost end of the hillfort, there is an outer bank with an internal height of 1m and an external height of 2.5m. Moving further north, the outer bank becomes a scarp, and there is a ditch outside it measuring 3m to 4m in width and 1m in depth. Outside this, there is an area of confused hollows.

Sites near Tredegar Fort (Gaer Hillfort)