The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record
 

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Caerau

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00645g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Community : Llanhennock
NGR : ST32989344
Site Type (preferred type first) : Iron Age Hillfort
Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument

Summary :
A small, circular, uni-vallate hilltop camp constructed from a natural prominence, with a fairly defensive position and within easy reach of water. The defences themselves are weak, but traces point to the earthwork originally being bi-vallate. The entrance cannot be ascertained.

Description :
A small, circular, uni-vallate hilltop camp constructed from a natural prominence, with a fairly defensive position and within easy reach of water. The defences themselves are weak, but traces point to the earthwork originally being bi-vallate. The entrance cannot be ascertained.

The enclosure is located on a small hilltop, on ground sloping to the south. At the last visit (1995) it was under permanent pasture. A roughly circular camp, consisting of a rolling interior surrounded by a scarp and bank. To the north side there is a bank with an interior height of 1.5m and an exterior height of 2.5m. The outer slope is rather steep, with a berm about 9m wide, followed by a further more gentle drop of 1.5m to meet the natural slope of the ground. An old farm track cuts diagonally across the bank on the west end of the northern side, and at the east end there is only a scarp 2.5m high which has a slight berm in the middle.
On the south side there is a scarp 1.5m to 2m high. The Cadw description notes that 'at the foot of this scarp is a fence, and the ground outside has been levelled as part of the Water Board pipeline construction'. In 2006 it was noted that an outer counterscarp bank, as shown on the first edition OS, was still visible on the south side of the post and wire fence which has been erected directly south of the southern bank and ditch.
The scarp on the south side continues round to the west of the enclosure, where it is 2.2m high and rather steep, with bushes and small trees growing on it. In 1995, damage to this defence from animals was noted, presumably sheep scrapes and tracks. Outside of this scarp is a 3m wide ditch, 8m deep with a field boundary hedge running along the top of its outer edge up to the north end of the enclosure, where the hedge then runs along the bottom of the ditch.
The defences to the west and northwest are separated by a recent post and wire fence from the main interior of the fort, although access for stock (presently one horse) is available, via a gate at the very east of the fence, by the roadside hedge. This area has suffered much trample, and although lying east of the main enclosure, this area may have been where a counterscarp bank ran, if this did indeed run the entire circumference of the enclosure. The northern field containing the outer bank and counterscarp bank, still visible, has also suffered from trample, and it is suggest the area be left to rest as damage may already have occurred to that area of the monument.
To the north for this post and wire fence, following on round to the west, scrub covers much of the defences. his at times is almost impregnable bramble and hawthorn trees. Whilst for the main this is helping to protect the defences and has helped them recover from stock damage as noted in the 1995 site visit, it should be noted that the mature trees within this area should be monitored to make sure they remain in a stable condition and appropriate action should be taken when any tree becomes unstable within its environment to avoid damage to the defences. (Wiggins 2006)

Sources :
Wiggins, H , 2006 , Prehistoric defended enclosures in Gwent ( © GGAT)

Events :
E001500 : Field visit to Caerau (year : 2006)
E001550 : Prehistoric defended enclosures Gwent (year : 2006)

Related PRNs :


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