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

Gaer Hill



This large, powerful hillfort lies just a mile to the southwest of the wondrous Black Cliff promontory fort... but couldn't really be any more different in terms of siting or ground plan. Hence, combining visits made a lot of sense upon a somewhat inclement February day. Well, while in the area it'd be rude not to, right?

Furthermore, unlike the much smaller enclosure, access is pretty straightforward, a public footpath sign indicating the way at the junction with the road approaching Penterry Farm etc (where, incidentally, I was able to park up with undue fuss). Hey, if in doubt, look for the transmitter antennae which now also crown the hilltop - one assumes not an original Iron Age feature.....

Understanding the ground plan of Gaer Hill is not so simple should you happen to lack a 1:25K OS map. However, in summary, a powerful inner enclosure is nowadays supplemented by significant surviving outer ramparts to south and east, the latter (together with the eastern flank of the inner) lying within the trees and quite substantial in form. One presumes these outer defences - once upon a time, anyway - formed a continuous circuit?

Also of note is a rather fine panorama looking across Chepstow racecourse to the mouth of the Severn Estuary, whereby the spellbound traveller can appreciate a grandstand view of journey's end for two of Pumlumon's iconic watercourses: Hafren and Gwy. Pumlumon should really need no introduction.
27th February 2022ce
Edited 27th February 2022ce

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