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Twelve Men's Moor (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

An extensive but widely spread Bronze Age cairn cemetery occupies Twelve Men's Moor, from the northern slopes of Kilmar Tor (at 396m OD, the third highest hilltop in Cornwall) down to the saddle between it and Hawk's Tor.

Details of cairns from Cornwall & Scilly HER, generally north to south:
Cairn at SX 2511 7558

A cairn discovered during fieldwork by RCHME in 1983, on a flat valley floor in an area of partly cleared moorland pasture. In poor condition and measuring 4.9m in diameter, the cairn is much robbed and now merely the base of earthfast stones 0.1m high. Just off centre are two slabs, 0.3m-0.4m long and 0.3m high, set at almost a right angle, both leaning but very firmly embedded in the base stones. Possibly the remains of a small cist, but very uncertain.

Cairn and cist at SX 2511 7551

A cairn, first recorded by Trahair in 1978. Surveyed by RCHME in 1983. It lies on flat ground in an east - west 'valley' between Kilmar Tor and Trewortha Tor in an area of moorland bracken, furze and boulders. A round cairn of which only the south part survives, this measuring 9.0m by 4.0m and 0.8m high. Robbing has exposed a fine cist with four slabs set about 0.1m into the ground and standing about 0.5m above it. The cist, set in a NE-SW direction, measures 0.9m by 0.6m internally. A coverstone lies immediately to the north of the cist.


Group to the east of Trewortha
Cairn at SX 2479 7548

This cairn is part of a compact cairn group, to the east of Trewortha. It is marked on early OS maps as a 'hut circle' and was Scheduled as such by Mercer in 1978. It was surveyed from the air and from the ground by the RCHME in the 1980s. Shown as a cairn on the latest OS map. The cairn is located in a flat valley with a slight west slope, in an area of grazed pasture enclosed by rough moorland with boulders. It is circular, 15.4m in diameter, and 0.9m high. Top probably flat originally, but it has been disturbed.

Cairn at SX 2477 7547

It is located in a flat valley with a slight west slope, in an area of grazed pasture enclosed by rough moorland with boulders. The cairn is first recorded by Trahair, who considered that it could be the result of stone clearance. In 1983, it was surveyed by Quinnell onto the RCHME's 1:2500 air photo plot. Described by Quinnell as a spread of stone 6.0m by 4.8m and 0.4m high.

Not shown on the OS 1/25000

Cairn at SX 2472 7545

It is located on a very slight south west slope in an area of pasture free of stone. Quinnell describes the cairn as a circular grass covered mound of stones 5.0m in diameter and 0.4m high.

Not shown on OS 1/25000

Cairn at SX 2471 7545

One of the larger cairns in the group. Marked as a cairn on the latest OS map. The cairn is almost circular, 9.3m in diameter and 1.1m high. There is an old excavation hollow in the top. Trahair suggests that this could be a clearance cairn, but Quinnell notes that if so, it must be prehistoric to have warranted exploration.

Cairn at SX 2474 7545

It is located on a very slight south west slope in an area of moorland pasture free of stone. The cairn was first recorded by Trahair, who considered that it could be the result of stone clearance. In 1983, it was surveyed by Quinnell onto the RCHME's 1:2500 air photo plot. Quinnell describes the cairn as 5.0m in diameter and 0.8m high, with a small central excavation hollow.

Not shown on the OS 1/25000

Cairn at SX 2473 7545

The cairn was first recorded by Trahair, who considered that it could be the result of stone clearance. Quinnell describes the cairn as circular, 5.0m in diameter, and 0.7m high.

Not shown on the OS 1/25000

Possible cairn at SX 2470 7544

This possible cairn is a member of a compact cairn group located on a very slight south west slope, in an area of moorland pasture free of stone. The cairn was first discovered by Trahair, who suggested that it could be the result of clearance. Quinnell describes it as a triangular mound, 5.7m at its widest and 9.7m long and up to 0.7m high. It appears to have been recently disturbed.

Not shown on OS 1/25000

Cairn at SX 2487 7546

This cairn, which lies within a compact cairn field, is located in a flat valley with a slight west slope, in an area of grazed pasture enclosed by rough moorland with boulders. The cairn is circular, 11.8m in diameter, and 0.8m high. Top disturbed, but probably originally a flat platform type.

Possible long cairn at SX 2482 7543

This possible long cairn is part of a compact cairn group 500m to the east of Trewortha. It lies adjacent to an old track, in a flat valley with a slight west slope, in an area of grazed pasture enclosed by rough moorland with boulders. The cairn was probably first discovered by Trudgian and King, who made a rough survey of it in May 1974; although in 1974, Mercer scheduled a long cairn in the area which is probably to be identified with this. Quinnell describes the feature as a long low mound, 21m long, 3.7m wide and up to 0.8m high, though it varies a little throughout its length. Stone is exposed in part. Trudgian and King's plan shows a number of kerb stones and a 'marker' stone at the east end. Considered to be a very likely long example of a prehistoric long cairn by Rose.

Not shown on the OS 1/25000

Cairn at SX 2520 7536

Cairn, first recorded by Trahair in 1978. Surveyed by RCHME in 1983. It lies in an area of boulders and bracken, on a very slight NW slope, consists of earth and stone, and measures 6.5m by 5.2m and 0.8m high. Two narrow trenches have been dug from the north and west towards the centre where there is north - south aligned pit measuring 2.1m by 0.8m wide and 0.4m deep. An upright slab forms the east side of the pit and to the north a stone about 1.0m square lies partly buried. Trehair's view that this is a cairn and cist seems correct although it seems curious that coverstone, one end and one side stone are missing rather than displaced. There has been some clearance of small stones to the west of the cairn, possibly for its construction.

Cairn at SX 2557 7526

A probable prehistoric cairn located by RCHME air photo survey and surveyed on the ground by Quinnell in 1983. This cairn is on a slight northern slope, within an area of scattered stone, bracken and furze and is in fair condition. A moss and turf covered mound of stones, 6.5m in diameter and 0.5m high, with no evidence of excavation.

Cairn with kerb and cist at SX 2456 7503

This cairn is one in a group of three in scrubby moorland on a gentle west facing slope. It was first located by the OS reviser in 1958 and is shown on the 1963 OS map. It is mentioned by Trahair in his 1978 survey of barrows. The cairn is oval, measuring 5.1m by 4.4m overall and is up to 1.0m high on its lower side. It has a kerb of contiguous stones up to 1.1m high. The disturbed interior reveals a possible inner stone setting concentric with the kerb, 3.6m by 2.0m within which is a slab 1.4m long and 0.4m wide, aligned north west - south east, which may represent part of a cist. The residue of an excavation surrounds the cairn, with most of the material deposited to the north west.

Cairn with cist and kerb at SX 2452 7499


Harlech Circle (Kerbed Cairn)

There is another possible ring cairn at SH61123094.

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust have it listed as a hut circle, but the most recent notes in 2001 say:
Possibly a ring cairn, not a hut circle. It has inner orthostatic thin slabs, no obvious entrance and on an exposed viewpoint. However, an old wall adjoins and there is possibly early field also. Also rather large for a hut circle 7m internal diameter (Smith 2001).

Moel y Geifr (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Round house settlement to the east of Moel y Geifr, alongside the track between the Y Gyrn cairns and Bryn Cader Fader. The site consists of scattered individual hut circles to the north at SH64543572, SH64433568 and SH64423549, and a more compact enclosed courtyard group at SH64533516.

There are suggestions of fragmentary field systems around the hut circles.

Dating could be anywhere between Bronze Age and Romano-British.

Yr Eifl (Round Cairn)

Yr Eifl means "the Trident", from its three striking peaks. The Welsh name has been Anglicised into The Rivals.

One the three peaks is occupied by the frankly astonishing Tre'r Ceiri hillfort, but is also topped with a large Bronze Age burial cairn. The other two summits also have BA cairns.

The highest of the three peaks, Garn Ganol, rising to 564m OD straight from sea-level at Nant Gwrtheryn, boasts two cairns, one substantial and intact, the other rather wrecked and fragmentary. GAT:
Summit cairn at SH36484474

A large featureless summit cairn on top of Yr Eifl. Visible on skyline from parts of Pen Llyn to W and SW and from Tre'r Ceiri to SE. Made from randomly piled large stones collected from around summit. A substantial hole, forming a shelter, has been dug into the cairn, about 2.5m wide and up to 0.8m deep. This contains broken glass, burnt plastic etc. Trig pillar also stands on cairn, also 1 small (1.5m diameter, 0.3m deep) excavation in W side.

Southwestern cairn at SH36464472

33.3m SW of the summit cairn. The top levelled and used as a platform for a small modern cairn.

Low circular cairn markedly different from the other cairn on Yr Eifl (PRN 616). Made up of small stones 5cm long with occasional larger 0.5m long slabs. Very low and flat in profile intervisible with Tre'r Ceiri cairn & Carnguwch. Could this cairn have been robbed to form 616?
The northwestern peak (Garn For or Pen Bwlch yr Eifl) has been (and still is being) badly damaged by quarrying, but there is still a cairn on its summit. GAT:
A surprisingly large cairn considering that the summit area is quite small. There is an original cairn base about 10m diameter and up to 1.2m high and this has traces of laid slab kerbing in places - not just a heap. On this has been built a modern 'pillar' cairn about another 2m high and there has been other disturbance as well. The original cairn is so large and well-built it seems likely to be prehistoric and resembles those on Yr Eifl and Tre'r Ceiri.

Mynydd Rhiw (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

There are four cairns in a linear group towards the northern end of the summit ridge of Mynydd Rhiw. A further cairn was destroyed by the erection of the radio transmitter to the west of this group.

Coflein details, south to north:
Cairn I (destroyed) (SH2297229496)

No trace of this cairn survives; it was removed during the construction of a radio station and mast. In 1939 it was described as being 18m in diameter.

Cairn II (SH2325029497)

Cairn situated on a prominent SW to NE aligned ridge of volcanic rock crossing the summit of Mynydd Rhiw.

An impressively sited cairn, comprising a max 17m diameter spread of stone that falls away down the hillslope. Within this spread there is a 6m diameter core some 1.5m high, within which a modern structure/shelter has been constructed.

Cairn III (SH2327429600)

The cairn is situated just 9m south of and below a more prominent cairn (Cairn IV). It comprises a low spread of stone 14m in diameter and 0.5m high into which a recent structure has been constructed. Around the north-west edge of the cairn, a series of stones may represent the original kerb.

This cairn appears to have been used as a sighting point on the line of the Parish Boundary. The boundary runs up and changes direction at the cairn and there is some suggestion that parts of the parish boundary may have earlier antecedents.

Cairn IV (SH2327829625)

The cairn sits on a high point of the ridge and is one of the largest, comprising a wide spread of stone 23m in diameter that is partly mixed with natural scree. Within this spread a 10m diameter pile stands up to 3m high and has a number of modern structures/shelters constructed in it.

Cairn V (SH2330429679)

The cairn comprises a spread of stone 12m in diameter, of which some material has fallen down the slope. The cairn stands up to 0.7m in height and is comprised sub-angular stones 0.2m to 0.4m in size. A small modern cairn has been constructed onto this cairn.

Beacon Batch (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

The summit of Beacon Batch is crowned with a superb round barrow cemetery, one of which has been rebuilt and topped with an Ordnance Survey trig pillar. A further two barrows lie to the east on the edge of the open access land.

Details of the prominent barrows from Somerset HER:
Burrington 11/T170 (ST 48375725)

A low mound with a cover of heather except at the S where the path has removed a broad swathe of vegetation. The stone of the mound is exposed and being loosened.

This barrow is the most westerly in a group of six (PRNs 24104, 24105, 24106, 24107 and 24108). The barrow is defined by a sub-circular mound which measures 10m in diameter. The barrow appears to have been incorporated into the Black Down bombing decoy (PRN 24114).

Burrington 13/T172 (ST 48455726)

2m high and 15m diameter with triangulation point on top Good turf cover apart from the top where everyone stands. Here stones are exposed but stable.

Burrington 14/T173 (ST 48485726)

1.75m high and 13m diameter. Whole of the top area dug into and stones exposed. There is active erosion down into the central hole which is 4m diameter and up to 1m deep. Grass covered with little heather.

This barrow is the third most easterly in a group of six (PRNs 24103, 24104, 24105, 24107 and 24108).

Burrington 15/T174 (ST 48525725)

2m high and 15m diameter. The maximum height is at the rim due to upcast from the centre hole which is 4m diameter and up to 1.75 deep. Loose stones lying in the bottom. Good turf cover.

This barrow is the second most easterly in a group of six (PRNs 24103, 24104, 24105, 24106 and 24108). An external ditch is situated adjacent to the eastern side of the mound measuring up to 2m in width.

Burrington 16/T175 (ST 48545725)

1.75m high and 15m diameter Marked central depression but no stone exposed. Good turf cover, some heather.This barrow is the most easterly in a group of six (PRNs 24103, 24104, 24105, 24106 and 24107). The mound has an external ditch measuring up to 3m in width. A sub-oval depression is visible in the top of the mound, probably the result of an excavation in the past, measuring up to 6m in length by up to 3m in width.
This next is to the SE of the trig point and the linear group, on the south side of the path:
Burrington 20/T126 (ST 4861057150)

Mound 2m high and 15m diameter. Flat topped with a central animal hole Slight berm to the S. Heather covered. Major trackway passes by on the N side.
The next two lie to the south of the trig point:
Burrington 18/T168 (ST 48455711)

0.25m high and 11m diameter. Not as obvious as some of the others in the group. Cut into on the SE side by a trackway running S from the trig point. Here cairn material is spilling out and being spread along the track. Central depression with a few stones exposed. Heather covered.

This barrow is the most westerly in a group of four (PRNs 24109, 24111 and 24112).

Burrington 19/T167 (ST 4848057080)

2m high and 15m diameter crossed by a trackway running c.SE from the trig point. Marked central depression where cairn stones are exposed. Covered with turf, heather and gorse on the SE side.

Appears stable under a cover of dense heather and low gorse. There is a narrow path across from N-S which is causing some erosion of the N crest of the mound. This barrow is the second most westerly in a group of four (PRNs 24109, 24110 and 24112).
The final two barrows marked on the OS 1/25000 are to the east of the summit, on the edge of the access land:
Burrington 22/T166 (ST 4899056930)

Round barrow, isolated under heather and moorland 0.9m high and 18m diameter.

Possibly mentioned as "the broken barrow" in the Anglo Saxon charter of AD904 for Wrington. Path to west eroded by bikes and horses - path to east not as bad.

Blagdon 1/T165 (ST 4908057030)

Mound crossed by stone wall running c.N-S which is the old Burrington-Blagdon parish boundary. 1m high and 11m diameter, the W very small part lies in undisturbed heathland. The E part is very stony, part of very rough grazing. Stones cleared from the field at some time lie along the wall and on the barrow. There is also a certain amount of brick and mortar, possibly from a small building at one time, on the mound. Could have been recently dumped. A drainage ditch to the E of the stone wall approaches the barrow but stops short of it. The mound is very spread and almost devoid of vegetation.

Possibly the "broken barrow' referred to in the Anglo Saxon charter of Wrington (AD904).

Circular ditch identified indicates that centre of barrow is mostly destroyed by a path which is now avoided as muddy - path now diverts over ditch causing further erosion.

Black Down (Priddy) (Round Barrow(s))

Two substantial if eroded Bronze Age round barrows and a possible third, at the western end of the summit ridge of Black Down. Details from Somerset HER:
Burrington 8/T177 (ST 47325710)

13m diameter and 1m high under heather. Whole area rather disturbed. There are several small deep holes on the mound where soil has been leeched from between the stones of the cairn. Lies on the N side of a well used ridge path.

A fairly prominent mound with a generally dense cover of heather. The southern edge is crossed by the path and is denuded of vegetation and suffering damage. Very muddy areas may mark the position of the barrow ditch.

Burrington 9/T178 (ST 47355710)

15m diameter and 1.75m high on N side of ridge path. The S edge of the mound is crossed by the path where some stone is exposed. Mound rather uneven with stones protruding, otherwise grass covered with a few heather plants.

A fairly prominent mound with a dense cover of heather except where crossed by the path. This has removed all vegetation and topsoil exposing the stone make-up of the mound. The path has made a significant depression in the top of the mound.

Burrington 9a/T179 (ST 47335707)

The southern mound is not very distinct but is probably a low, heather and gorse covered mound some way S of the path. Stable and undisturbed beneath dense ground cover.

Burrington (Black Down) (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

This area of common north of Black Down is the site of an extensive Bronze Age cemetery of cairns and cremations. Beaker sherds were also found in Bos Swallet, a large sinkhole to the west of the cemetery. Details of the cairns that appear on the OS 1/25000, from the Somerset HER:
Burrington 1/T5 (ST4743058460)

Possible saucer barrow. Consists of a ring mound and an inner mound. Total diameter c41ft with mound 25ft diameter and 2.5ft high. Built of stones.

Excavated by H Taylor following R.F Read c1925 and 1950-6. Primary inhumation (inferred) with barbed wire type beaker (Clarke's Barbed-wire type no 784) in a grave 2ft 3ins by 3ft 7ins which also contained fragments of burnt bone. There were inner and outer ring-cairns or retaining circles. Secondary fragments included one accompanied by a food vessel, and a cremation with a primary series collared urn. On the W and SW margin of the barrow was a cremation cemetery.

Burrington 3/T6 (ST 47465836)

Possible saucer barrow total diameter 35ft and central mound about 1ft high.

Excavated by R.F Read in 1923 - primary cremation in stone cist 2ft by 1ft 8ins with fragment of polished flint implement. Mound truncated.

Section prior to excavation suggests a disc barrow. Cist was previously robbed.

Burrington 6c/T6c (ST 47435820)

Barrow 21ft diameter and 1.5ft high. One of several that occur locally but do not really fit into any category. Consists of a low mound roughly ring shaped with a gap in it communicating with the central depressed area. This area does not seem to be due to disturbance. The gap is to the S.

Read's Cavern (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Information from Pastscape:
A cave near Burrington Combe, discovered by RF Read in 1919 and excavated by Professors Tratman and Palmer for the University of Bristol Speleological Society from 1919 to 1925 and again in 1929. The bulk of the material discovered relates to use of the cave in the Iron Age, with finds including pottery, antler cheek-pieces, bronze fittings for chariot wheels, part of a bronze bracelet, stone spindle whorls and some iron shackles. Some human remains and a quantity of animal bones were also discovered. The sole find of definite Roman date, a coin of Magnentius, is regarded by Branigan and Dearne as "an accidental contamination of the site".
It was originally called Keltic Cavern.

Rowberrow Warren (Cairn(s))

Two cairns, now in (felled) forestry. Info from Pastscape:

Shipham 3/T8 (ST 46125844)
A round cairn excavated circa 1924. 37 feet in diameter and on average 2 feet high, a very small quantity of calcined human bone was found on the original ground surface beneath the mound,which was restored after excavation. The cairn is listed by Grinsell as Shipham 3, and by the UBSS as cairn T8. Circa 1960, a leaf-shaped flint arrowhead was found amongst road-spoil adjacent to the cairn. It seems unlikely to be associated.

Shipham 4/T7 (ST 46655843)

T.7: Tumulus 35' dia. x 1' high. Excavated 1923. Cremation found in inverted enlarged food vessel, Abercromby type 7, with pygmy cup nearby: the whole encircled by vertical slabs and covered by an internal cairn.

Afon Tawe (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

This is a multi-phase settlement site, according to CPAT. Some smaller round huts of a prehistoric type are mixed with larger sub-rectangular structures of a medieval or post-medieval type.

It's a perfect location, with easy access to running water in the Tawe below and the streams running from the plateau above.

Graig y Gilfach (Enclosure)

There are apparently two monuments here, maybe both "hengiform", maybe one is a cairn, with maybe a standing stone near to the northern one.

All I can say is there's a lot of trees and vegetation in these parts. And a stone.

GGAT and Coflein have the following, somewhat contradictory records:

Graig y Gilfach 1 (north) (SO02940346)

This cairn was described by RCAHMW in 1960 as 'a cairn 6.4m in diameter with a flat, turf-covered top, built of loose stone on a natural boss of rock. Beside it on the W is a large block of stone (? an 'outlier') on which most of the outline of a millstone, 1.2m in diameter, has been shaped to a depth of 0.10m'.

Poor GPS coverage on day of site visit, but NGR appeared to be in quite a large area of fallen trees. This was searched as well as possible, but no cairn could be seen - possibly concealed below fallen trees.

The site is likely to be a hengiform monument (Wiggins and Evans 2005)
Remains of a round burial cairn situated within forestry on the edge of the summit of Twyn Gwersyllfa. The grass covered cairn is circular on plan and measures about 9.5m in diameter and up to 0.7m in height. The cairn was originally scheduled in 1961; however, the area covered by the original designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground.

Graig y Gilfach 2 (south) (SO0300103375)
Roughly circular monument consisting of an external bank, now spread and indistinct and clearly visible only at the W and N, with an internal ditch 0.4m wide and 0.3m deep. Most of interior falls within a clearing, which also contains the W side of the bank and ditch; elsewhere the bank and ditch are obscured by overhanging trees or have disappeared; young trees are self-sown in the SE quadrant of the enclosure. Classified by RCAHMW, with reservations, as a ring ditch, but actually appears closer in form to a henge, though because of damage to earthworks and low overhanging branches it was not possible to be certain whether there was any entrances. RCAHM however noted in 1960 that the bank was in ten straight sections. Dimensions: 25m diam; ?c0.3m high.
A subcircular enclosure, 21.3-24.4m in diameter, defined by a ditch with a slight external bank.

Twyn Bryn Bychan (Cairn(s))

Description from GGAT:
A low mound with traces of a kerb on the W side and a cist in the middle. The mound is well marked on the N side as an earthwork but less so on the other sides. It consists of a slightly raised rim and a raised centre with a more depressed area in between.

It is not possible to determine without excavation whether this is a ring cairn with internal structures, or a badly robbed ordinary cairn. The possible kerb consists of four stones (up to 0.9m across) of which the two middle ones are on the line of the outer side of the rim and therefore probably in situ; the two end stones look as though they have been displaced outwards, especially the N one. The cist is represented by a slit-like hole measuring 2.0m N-S x 0.3m, the E and W sides of which are lined by slabs; only the W side can be clearly seen, and here the lining is a single slab not quite as long as the hole.

In a clearing in forestry at the top of a hill, with a trig point on it and a radio mast immediately to its NE. A N-S path crosses the mound and has eroded slightly into it. Dimensions: Diameter 18.9m, height c0.8m max.

Gwersyll (Hillfort)

Lovely little Iron Age site in a forestry clearing surrounding by dense conifers giving a sense of seclusion.

The interior also includes two Bronze Age cairns.

From GGAT:
Gwersyll is a rampart, roughly semi-circular in plan, standing on a broad ridge in enclosed, but uncultivated pasture within a forestry plantation.

It appears to be an unfinished ringwork; no trace of a marking out ditch appears on the ground but on an air photo a very slight mark completes the circuit. The diameter is about 52m and the enclosed area, if completed, would have been c0.2ha. The defences measure 11m wide by nearly 2m high overall and comprise a bank, ditch and counterscarp bank. The intended entrance was probably at the east end of the rampart where a slight bank curves round the end of the ditch. There is a causeway across the ditch on the south-east, but no corresponding gap in the bank.

Two platform cairns stand within the enclosure. They stand about 0.3m high; the centres have been dug out though no cists are visible. The larger cairn measures 11mx10m, with a displaced coverstone near the centre. It consists of an irregular oval ring of stones, c 1.2m wide. In the middle is a large stone slab, 1x1m. Outside the stones is a bank 1m wide abnd 0.2m high, which is clearly visible on all but the W side.

Twyn Blaenant (Ring Cairn)

There was (is?) a further cairn uphill from here, to the NNE. If it still exists it's lost on the verge of a forestry track.

From GGAT:
Carn Buarth Maen (SO0269104854)
Possible cairn, appearing as a low indistinct mound entirely covered with thick tussocks of grass; stone can be felt underneath. Edges most clearly marked at S and E; fade out on N and W. On the verge at the S of a forest ride, at the top of an E-facing slope. Dimensions: ?5.6m diameter; c 0.2m high
(1976) Now in a forestry plantation; nothing could be found (RCAHMW)
(1999) Cairn as noted on OS 6 inch 1st edition 1885 map. No visible presence; possibly destroyed by the FE or perhaps it is located within dense tree cover.

Criccieth (Hillfort)

Information from the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust RHER:
It [Criccieth Castle] stands within an enclosure formed by the cliffs to the south and an earthen bank to the north which has the appearance of an Iron Age hillfort.

An urn discovered behind the cottage of the Castle custodian might suggest an Iron Age site. The find occurred at a depth of 2.6m behind the cottage of the Criccieth Castle custodian, and it is suggested that the bank under which it lay is a remnant of an Iron Age earthwork.
The rocky outcrop to the northwest of the castle is called Dinas, although there's no record of any site or finds there.

Ffridd Newydd (Stone Circle)

Summarised from Gwynedd Archaeological Trust SMR records:
Two stone circles. One is an earthen circle to the north of the other stone circle. Crawford's opinion that there were never any stones on the circumference of the smaller circle does not agree with Pennant's description of it, and the probability is that both circles originally had short standing stones set in a bank of small loose stones, with an external surrounding ditch. They must have been robbed for building stone c.1840 when the mountainside was enclosed, and the only remains visible now are traces of banks and ditches round parts of each circle and a few rough standing stones 2-3ft high. Beaker sherds from the two circles are now in the NMW.

Pennant's description of these two stone circles in 1783 shows they must be embanked stone circles as he mentions that both had large upright stones and a stone bank. The smaller circle surrounded a shallow depression which can be regarded as a grave. Nearby was a scatter of beaker sherds in a fire pit. The "druids circle" Penmaenmawr, Caernarvonshire may be regarded as the type site for this kind of monument.

Not impressive as a field monument any more. Partially excavated by Crawford who found stone holes that represent those standing in Pennant's time. Recommended for Scheduling to protect any remaining archaeological deposits. Area of ridge and furrow to the east also noted.

The entire area has been ploughed at some point, perhaps immediately before the fields were enclosed and improved. However this C19th cultivation largely avoided the interior of the circles, indicating that these may have quite good preservation.

Southern circle

The larger circle appears to consist of primarily an outer ditch enclosing a slight bank that formerly incorporated a large number of stones. Results from the S side of the circle suggests that other elements are present, perhaps an inner stony bank and a second, wider, outer ditch. Both circles have suggestions of at least two phases of construction.

58m in diameter overall with a bank, where discernable, 4 -7.5 m wide which contains a few standing stones situated on a gentle west facing slope.

A very large monument which must be put in the henge class. Not in a prominent or distinctive position but on the hillslope is visible from the S and W, particularly from Carneddau Hengwm and Pen Dinas. A group of clearance stones close by at SW must be remains of the circle, these consist of about 16 large stones c. 1.2m x 1m and 6 smaller stones c. 1m x 0.8m The largest stone is about 2m x 1.2m.

Northern circle

The smaller circle consists of a simple ditch with possible low banks on both the inside and outside. A circle of anomalies indicates the presence of internal features, perhaps a circle of pits or stone holes.

39m in diameter with a bank 2.5m wide the remains of a ditch 1.5m wide.

Remains only as a very low grassy earthwork with only tops of 5 recumbent stones showing.

Taff's Well (Sacred Well)

There is a possibility referred to in the GGAT SMR that Roman masonry was exposed around the well during a flood in 1799.

This suggests that the well may have been in use during prehistoric times and reused by the Romans.

It is the only known thermal spring in Wales.

Tal y Garreg and Llechlwyd (Hillfort)

One hill, two forts.

Tal y Garreg fort crowns the summit of the hill at SH57400358, while Llechlwyd cuts off the lower western promontory. Both look down on the mouth of the Dysynni river.

GAT details:
Tal y Garreg

This is a fortification in an exhilarating position, fronting the sea and exposed to all the winds that blow! Its date is very uncertain, and it may have been occupied at more than one period.

The defences are built on the very top of the narrow ridge. They consist of two relatively low earth and stone banks enclosing a rectangular space about 45m long and 22m wide. At the seaward end there is a much stronger point the base of a tower or small circular enclosure (10m in diameter) fronted by a rock-cut ditch now virtually filed with stone. If this stone comes from the collapse of the tower, it must have been quite high. Beyond the ditch is a curving bank with another deep rock-cut ditch beyond. This ditch is now right at the edge of the quarry take care! The ring of concrete pegs on the tower once anchored a shipping signal. (Extract from G. Smith: A Visitor Guide to the Main Iron Age Hillforts of Meirionnydd (2009)).

Llechlwyd promontory fort

A promontory fort enclosing 1.5 acres, situated on a spur of land projecting SW from Tal y Garreg Mountain. The artificial defences comprise an inner and outer bank, 3.6m and 3.2m high respectively with an outer ditch now only 0.8m deep, constructed across the neck of a steep sided promontory. The outer bank and ditch have been destroyed at their west end by a modern quarry road, which exposes a section showing that the ditch was originally 1.9m lower than the present day ground level. The large inner rampart is mainly of stone. And has an in-turned entrance at the junction of its W end with the natural defensive slope of the hill. There are no traces of any huts within the fort. Surveyed at 1: 2500.

Park Head cemetery (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Extensive cemetery of Bronze Age barrows on Park Head, near to an Iron Age cliff fort. In addition Mesolithic flints have been found on the headland.

Details from Cornwall & Scilly HER, north to south:

SW 8481 7157
This is the northernmost of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands on a cliff edge looking north. It is a bowl barrow 0.9m high and 18m across with sunken top. The barrow is Scheduled and covered by grass.

SW 8478 7150
This is the second northernmost of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands on a slope looking north. It is a bowl barrow 0.6m high. The barrow is Scheduled and is under pasture.

SW 8479 7148
This is the third northernmost of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands on a slope facing north, very close to the barrow 21780.2. It has been almost entirely removed, leaving just a small rim about 12m across (h1). It is covered by grass.

SW 8441 7130
This is the westernmost of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands on a clifftop looking west. It is 1.7m high and 27m across, but has been mutilated by a number of excavations in the sides. The barrow is Scheduled and is under pasture.

SW 8461 7126
This is the one of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands 200m from the cliff tops. This barrow is in arable land but is under pasture; the plough has bitten into the sides somewhat. The remains are 0.6m high and are Scheduled.

SW 8444 7120
This is the one of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands on a clifftop looking south-west. It is 0.7m high and 27m across, but has been mutilated by a number of eroded areas of rabbit holes. Parts of the west side have been lost to the cliff edge; otherwise the barrow is covered by grass and is Scheduled.

SW 8447 7101
This is one of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands 50m from the cliff top. This barrow is in good order, 1.5m high and 18m across. It has been mutilated by a number of small excavations, and was recorded in 1760 as having "just been opened", although it was apparently intact in 1865. The barrow is Scheduled and now under pasture. The barrow may have been used as a beacon.

SW 8454 7084
This is the southernmost of the group of barrows on Park Head; it stands 50m from the cliff top. This barrow was rediscovered by Sheppard in 1978, from the coastal path; it is covered by gorse elsewhere. It was indicated on Thomas's survey sheet and may have been used as a beacon in the early C19.
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