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

Pen-y-Gaer (Caerhun)



Llanbedr, on the hills above the Llanrwst road about six miles from Conway, is well worth a visit, were it only for the opportunity of seeing one of the most remarkable ancient primitive fortifications preserved in this country. It is called Pen Caer Helen, and is situated on the summit of a hill about a mile from the village.

Pennant is, I believe, the only writer who has described this remain from original observation. He notices it as "a British post of great strength, and in some parts singularly guarded. It had the usual fosses and vast ramparts of stones, with some remains of the facing of walls, and the foundations of three or four round buildings."

Notwithstanding that many of the stones of this fortification have been taken away for use in modern division walls and sheep-pens, the remains are still very extensive, and show clearly the extent of the ancient huge dry-stone ramparts. But the chief peculiarity of this fortified post consists in the curious fact that, near the out walls, on the western side, are two large spaces of ground thickly set with small sharp-pointed stones, placed upright in the ground; a peculiarity which I cannot find is noticed in regard to any other similar work, and which seems to defy the probability of our discovering a plausible explanation.

From this spot the views are extensive, reaching on one side over the vale of Conway and the Denbighshire hills, and on another over a sterile waste up to Carnedd Llewelyn.
From p127-8 of 'Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales', by J. O. Halliwell, 1860.

Coflein lists many barrows and settlement traces here, and mentions that one of the hut circles showed evidence that iron working had been carried out there.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th July 2007ce
Edited 24th July 2007ce

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