Pen y Castell, Llanilar
Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)
There are earthwork remains
|Name||Pen y Castell, Llanilar
|Alternative Names||Garth Grugyn; Castell Pant-Mawr; Coed y Castell
A rather curving L-plan bank, or rampart defines the north & west sides of an enclosure, about 28-30m across, resting elsewhere on steep natural scarps, towards the tip of a south-facing promontory above the Ystwyth valley; to the north a ditch seperates the rampart from an oval mound, some 30m east-west by 16m. J.Wiles 29.01.02. 2.
A field visit to this site on 4th April 2003 examined the earthworks and could not reconcile them with those of an Iron Age fort. They appeared to represent a low motte or ringwork on the upslope side, separated by a very deep rock-cut ditch to the south, and then a further defensive bank or modified outcrop beyond. The earthworks appear to represent those of a medieval earthwork castle. T Driver, RCAHMW. 5th May 2004. (Coflein)
A small univallate Iron Age hillfort. It appears to have two phases of construction. A field visit to this site on 4th April 2003 examined the earthworks and could not reconcile them with those of an Iron Age fort. They appeared to represent a low motte or ringwork on the upslope side, separated by a very deep rock-cut ditch to the south, and then a further defensive bank or modified outcrop beyond. The earthworks appear to represent those of a medieval earthwork castle. T Driver 2004. (Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER)
The monument comprises the remains of two earthwork enclosures. Item A is located on the summit of a rounded hill in a prominent position on the S side of the Afon Ystwyth. The enclosure is sub-oval in shape and measures 115m N-S by 55m transversely. A substantial bank defends the site. The date or precise nature of the enclosure is unknown. Some authorities consider it to be the remains of a small medieval motte and bailey, but an interpretation as a prehistoric defended enclosure is more likely. Item B is located 100m N of Item A on a gentle N-facing slope. The enclosure is trapezoidal in shape and probably dates to the Iron Age period (c
800 BC - AD 74, the Roman invasion of Wales). It measures 60m E-W by 55m transversely. The bank measures 0.2m in height and 4m in width. A simple gap in the NW corner marks the location of the entrance. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric context and within the surrounding landscape. The site is well preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to chronology, building techniques and functional detail. The importance of the monument is further enhanced by the group value of the defended enclosures. (Scheduling Report)
Shovel shaped court divided by rock gut ditch from second court (King accepts as castle as probably rightly identified as Garth Grugyn (recorded as built 1242). Hogg regards as a small fort divided by open-cast cut, and rejects identification as Garth Grugyn since site lies far outside Crugyn township (now Craigwen)). The site is scheduled as a Prehistoric hillfort. Garth Grugyn is a site recorded as being fortified by Maelgwn Fychan in 1242.
The earthworks at Pen-y-Castell, Llanilar, occupy the summit of a rounded hill in a very prominent, if low-lying, position on the south side of the Afon Ystwyth. They appear to represent an oval earthwork enclosure measuring c.113m x 55m, defended by a substantial bank, which encloses 0.4 ha. The enclosure is mutilated by a central cut which appears to be an old quarry. Opinion about the date or precise nature of the enclosure has been divided in the past; A H A Hogg writing in the Cardiganshire County History (1994, 261) considered it to be a prehistoric defended enclosure, but previous authors have interpreted it as the remains of a small medieval motte and bailey arrangement. One factor in favour of a prehistoric date for the enclosure is the existence of two enclosures close by, which also appear to be prehistoric. The first is a trapezoidal earthwork enclosure to the north (NPRN 400287), and the second is the incomplete cropmark of an oval enclosure to the east (NPRN 400288). (Coflein–ref. Driver, T. (2005) The Hillforts of North Ceredigion: Architecture, Landscape Setting and Cultural Contexts, PhD thesis, The University of Wales, Lampeter, unpublished.)
This site is a scheduled monument protected by law
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||SN629745