Pen Dinas Hillfort, Castles and Forts Penparcau, Ceredigion - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


Pen Dinas Hill Penparcau Ceredigion Wales
Pen Dinas hillfort is located between the Rivers Rheidol and Ystwyth, above the town of Aberystwyth in Ceredigion, Wales. | It is one of the largest and most important Iron Age hill-forts in west Wales, and is defined by massive rampart and ditched defences. | T he fort is believed to have been occupied for some 300 years up to and including the 1st century BC. The hill includes twin summits and an early fort was located on the northern knoll and defended with a timber-revetted earth rampart and a ditch. This was replaced by a similar sized fort on a second knoll to the south, with a stone-revetted rampart. Finally, defences were built around the whole of the ridge and enclosed both earlier forts. | Excavations have revealed the imposing character of the gateways, which were reshaped during three phases of fort defences. Near to one entrance, a substantial rectangular four post structure, possibly once a guard house or granary was found. | Within the south fort, twelve house platforms recognisable on the surface as depressions, provide evidence for occupation within the fort. Two of these were excavated and suggest that these timber houses were D-shaped rather than circular in plan. | The discovery of sherds of a decorated jar, with stamped comma-shaped designs below the rim, is of particular interest. The jar was made in the Malvern Hills of Herefordshire and Worcestershire some time between 300-50BC. Another find was a small glass bead worn as an item of personal adornment in the fort. It is identical to beads made at Meare Lake Village in Somerset and is further evidence of a long distance contact with this fort. | More recently, Pen Dinas saw the addition of a monument on the top of the hill. It was built c.1852 in memory of the Duke of Wellington, Victor of Waterloo. | For those walking the All Wales Coast Path it is a rewarding diversion to climb up to the top of the hill from where you can see for miles inland along both the Ystwyth and Rheidol river valleys, as well as out to sea.
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