Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Regional Historic Environment Record

Y Werthyr Hillfort, Llanddeusant

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 2077
Trust : Gwynedd
Community : Tref Alaw
NGR : SH36338431
Site Type (preferred type first) : Roman HILLFORT
Legal Protection : Scheduled Ancient Monument

Description :
Ancient camp (multivallate earthwork depicted). <1>

Y Werthyr (site of). <2>

Earthwork 1500 yards east of the old church, on a small hill on the 200ft contour. It has been almost obliterated by ploughing, but on the south side where it is best preserved; three parallel concentric ramparts are visible, all greatly denuded. On the other sides, the line of the defences can be traced only faintly. On the northeast is a possible entrance with indications of an overlap. Internal diameter north to south is 100 yards. <3>

Circular earthwork visible on APs (SH36338431). Multivallation (on south) faintly visible. <4>

A hill fort in a commanding position but largely ploughed down. It is multivallate on the south where there are two low scarps (0.6m) with an outer bank (0.3m) and ditch (1.0m). The east side is a ploughed down bank with a simple entrance in the northeast that is probably original. On west and north the course of the bank is faintly visible. <5>

Presence of more than one bank and ditch suggest a pre-roman date, however a post-roman or even an early Medieval date cannot be ruled out. <6>

Although greatly ploughed out, Y Werthyr is still an imposing site. A rampart is slightly visible in the north with a double rampart also to be seen in the northeast. An entrance can be seen cutting through this double rampart at the northeast. The other rampart can be faintly traced from the west round to the south, and all three defensive ramparts can be traced in the south. The fortifications are more easily identifiable from the nearby road about 100 yards away. The side is receded and ploughed out yearly so it inevitably will be fairly destroyed. <7>

The monument comprises the remains of a small sub-circular bivallate hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 43). It is located on a low rounded hill and the earthwork banks and ditches surrounding the summit of the hill are most well-preserved on the S and E sides, with a maximum height of 0.5m. Geophysical survey results indicate that there may be up to eight circular house platforms preserved within the interior of the hillfort, on the E side. An entrance is evident on the NE side of the site. The hillfort measures 186m (SW-NE) by 165m (W-E). <8>

The double-ringwork at Llantrisant is situated in a commanding hilltop position, and while the earthworks have largely been ploughed out, recent geophysical surveys have defined the boundaries and occupation areas (G. Smith 2005; Smith and Hopewell 2007). The first survey by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust confirmed the presence of a sub-circular bivallate enclosure, c. 95m in diameter, containing several circular hut platforms clustered around the southern and western sides of a hollow located below the highest point of the hilltop (G. Smith 2005, 31). Aerial photographs produced by John Rowlands in 2006 suggested that the site was more complex, containing a possible annexe on the northern side of the enclosure, leading to a second geophysical survey being conducted (Smith and Hopewell 2007). The outer ditch is 5.5m wide, and the ramparts are well-defined. A series of anomalies indicate a possible elaborate entranceway on the east. A second boundary is located to the north of the entrance, and it may be that it was multivallated. The interior of the enclosure demonstrates a lengthy sequence of occupation, with at least seven roundhouses with diameters between 10m and 13m. The northern annexe was found to contain three roundhouses. The survey revealed the site has a long history, perhaps stretching from the Late Bronze Age/Earliest Iron Age transition to the Late Iron Age. (Waddington 2013)

Sources :
Halfpenney, I. , 2009 , Y Werthyr Hillfort
Waddington, K. , 2010 , Early Celtic Societies in North Wales
Waddington, K. , 2013 , The Settlements of Northwest Wales: From the Late Bronze Age to the Early Medieval Period
Ordnance Survey , 1818 , No. 317E , <1>
Ordnance Survey , 1907 , SH38SE , <2>
Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments , 1937 , Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Anglesey , <3>
Royal Air Force , 1945 , 1066/UK655/3317-8 , <4>
Ordnance Survey , 1969 , SH38SE 6 , <5>
Lynch, F. , 1970 , Prehistoric Anglesey , <6>
Harkness, M. D. , 1987 , PRN 2077 , <7>
Cadw , 2010 , Y Werthyr Hillfort , <8>
Smith, G. , 2005 , Archaeology in Wales , <9>
Hopewell, D. & Smith, G. , 2006 , Archaeology in Wales , <10>

Events :
42232 : Prn 2077 Gat Site Visit (year : 1987)
43835 : Scheduling Visit: Y Werthyr Hillfort (year : 2009)
44557 : Early Celtic Societies in North Wales (year : 2010)

Related PRNs :


The above data are supplied by GAT in partnership with its Local Authorities (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd County Councils, and Snowdonia National Park Authority), © GAT 2014 (and in part © Crown, 2014 - as indicated)
This information is supplied for the purposes of personal interest only and may not be used as part of a commercial project.

November 24, 2014, 12:11 pm - HTML file produced from Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Regional HER
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Craig Beuno, Garth Road, Bangor, Gwynedd.  LL57 2RT
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