The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Pen-y-Castell Hillfort



Visited 13th March 2000: After one aborted attempt last year, I finally got round to visiting Pen-y-Castell Hillfort on a lunch hour last week. The sharp winter sunlight was beautiful, but it was still very cold and windy once I got to the top.

There's loads to see up there, especially considering how insignificant the fort is compared to some of its local rivals. The ramparts and ditches are still relatively well defined, especially around the entrance to the east. Modern erosion to the ramparts gives a cut-away view of the stones that make them up, and there are a number of large boulders within the boundaries of the fort that must have served some purpose when it was in use (it's unlikely that they've been lugged up there since).

The most interesting stone that appears to be part of the original fort stand on the north side of the main entrance, where there is a break in the defensive ditch. I found myself wondering whether it represents the remains of a defensive wall, or possibly the Iron Age equivalent of a kerb stone protecting wooden defensive walls from wear and tear.

As I descended the hill and made my way back to the car there were two F15 fighter planes circling overhead, presumably practising for the real thing in Iraq. I pondered the stupidity of it all, and how far mankind (I use this term intentionally) has come since the simple Iron Age defences of Pen-y-Castell. It took the edge off of an otherwise beautiful visit.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
17th March 2003ce
Edited 27th October 2003ce

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