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Caerphilly Civil War Redoubt

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Map ReferenceST18NE
Grid ReferenceST1539387230
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCaerphilly
Old CountyGlamorgan
Type Of SiteFORT
PeriodPost Medieval

Substantial earthworks remain of a great bastion or redoubt, built in the revolutionary wars of the mid seventeenth century to defend Caerphilly Castle (NPRN 94497). The redoubt faced onto higher ground overlooking the castle from the north-west. It was excavated in 1963. The site overlies the remains of a Roman fort (NPRN 301345).
The redoubt consists of a raised earthwork platform some 44m north-east to south-west by 40-50m. It is still 2.3m high at the north-west end where there are traces of small bastions at the angles. In the rear, south-east end is a large hollow reached by a cutting sheltered by a north-east facing extension of the platform. This may have been a casemate or magazine. The platform's forward north-west face is fronted by a 20m wide ditch with traces of a ravelin, a lower detached bastion, some 17.5m across on the far side. The ravelin projected into an outer enclosure some 50m deep defended by a ditched rampart with at least four rounded bastions. This protected the work's north and north-eastern sides.
The redoubt would have been a formidable work with three tiers of defences facing a potential foe. These would have had timber and wickerwork breastworks or entrenchments, defended by musketeers perhaps with cannon on the inner platform. It is to be supposed that the castle, although long ruinous, was put into a state of defence at this time although there are no recorded actions at Caerphilly.

Source: Clark in Archaeologia Cambrensis New Series I (1850), 259-6
Lewis in Archaeologia Cambrensis 115 (1966), 77-81

John Wiles 05.02.08