Twyn y Gaer, Llanfihangel Crucorney is a hillfort that likely dates to the Iron Age period, specifically around 800 BC to AD 74, during the Roman conquest of Wales. It is located on a hilltop at the southern end of the Vale of Ewyas, on the southern side. The hillfort is situated in an area of open moorland and occupies a commanding position with steep slopes on all sides.
Finds from Twyn y Gaer
Finds included some pottery, including salt containers, iron and copper alloy objects, including brooches, glass beads, querns and iron working debris. The occupation producing this material had ended by the Roman period.
The glass beads were found here were dated from between the fourth to the first centuries BC and chemical analysis shows that they were probably made at glass workshops at the Meare Lake Village site in Somerset.
What does Twyn y Gaer Hillfort look like?
The hillfort has an elongated oval shape, measuring approximately 226m meters east-west by 84m meters north-south. It is divided into three sections by two north-south banks and ditches. The interior is divided by two lines of ramparts and ditches facing east with central entrances to each. The eastern part was built first, added to by the western subdivision and in the last phase reduced to the western area.
The northern side has a steep-sided bank that is 0.3 meters high on the inside and 4 meters high on the outside. The ditch is 2 meters wide, and there is a counterscarp bank that is 0.7-1 meter high. Towards the eastern end of the northern side, there is a causeway over the ditch and a corresponding hollow in the bank above. The middle section of the northern side, between the two cross banks, has a scarp that is 2.5-3 meters high, an outer ditch that is 1.7 meters wide, and an outer bank that is 0.8 meters high. At the western end of the northern side, there is a similar scarp and ditch, and a short stretch of outer bank that is 1 meter high. The ditch and outer bank then stop, but begin again at the western end where the defenses are more massive, with the main bank being 0.5 meters high on the inside and 3.5 meters high on the outside. Outside the main bank, there is a ditch that is 2 meters wide and an outer bank that is 1.2 meters high. The outer bank diminishes towards the southern end.
The western end of the southern side has a main bank that is approximately 0.3 meters high on the inside and 2.7 meters high on the outside, with a gently sloping outer bank that is 1 meter high. Towards the eastern end, the bank becomes lower, approximately 1 meter high, and then in the southeast corner, it steepens and becomes higher, measuring 2.5 meters high. The outside edge of the ditch on the southern side has a field wall that is 1 meter high revetting it, with a sloping bank outside it. This arrangement continues around the southern end of the eastern side, with the bank reaching a height of 4 meters. In the middle of the eastern side, there is an inturned entrance that is 2.2 meters wide at its eastern end and 1.4 meters wide at its western end, and 11 meters long. The banks on either side of the entrance are 2 meters high at the eastern end and 0.6 meters high at the western end, and they are 2 meters wide with flat tops. Outside the entrance, on the southern side, there is a short stretch of bank that is 1 meter high. On the northern side, the inner bank is 0.3 meters high on the inside and 3 meters high on the outside. Outside this is a bank that is 1.5 meters high on the inside and 2.5 meters high on the outside. Outside this are a series of shallow hollows and a small intermittent bank that is 0.3 meters high, beyond which is a very steep natural slope.
The easternmost cross bank and ditch run N-S, cutting the hillfort more or less in two equal parts. The bank, which joins the main bank around the fort at both ends, is 0.7m high on the W side and 1.7m high on the E side. On this side there is a ditch 2m wide and 1m deep. In the middle there is a causeway across the ditch and a shallow gap 3m wide. The second cross bank and ditch, to the W of the first, enclose a roughly circular area at the western end of the fort. Again, the bank joins the main bank at both ends. The bank is 0.5m high on the W and 1.8m high on the E. The ditch to the E is 1.5m wide and 0.7m deep, with bare rock showing in places in its outer side. In the middle the bank is 2.2m high and the ditch is 1m deep. In the middle there is a causeway across the ditch and a corresponding gap in the bank 2m wide and 1m deep. There is a small cairn of small stones on top of the bank to the N of the entrance. The banks are slightly inturned towards the W at the entrance. The interior of the fort is slightly convex, with little sign of any features.
Sites near Twyn y Gaer Hillfort (Llanfihangel Crucorney)
- Skirrid Fawr Defended Enclosure (5 km)
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- Abergavenny (Gobannio) Vicus (7 km)
- Abergavenny (Gobannium) Roman Fort (8 km)
Neronian Auxiliary Fort (AD 54–68)
- Pen-y-Gaer Roman Fort (13 km)
Flavian Auxiliary Fort (AD 69–96)
- Coed y Bwnydd Camp (17 km)
Iron Age Hillfort
- Llancayo Camp (20 km)
Iron Age Hillfort
- Boatside Farm Temporary Camp - Clyro (22 km)
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- Clyro Vexillation Fortress (22 km)
- Burrium (Usk) Legionary Fort (23 km)
- Cefn-brynich Roman Fort (23 km)
Claudian Auxiliary Fort (AD 43–54)