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Castell Dinas Bran (Earthwork Enclosure)

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Map ReferenceSJ24SW
Grid ReferenceSJ2224043060
Unitary (Local) AuthorityDenbighshire
Old CountyDenbighshire

The hill of Dinas Bran (NPRN 165276) is crowned by the earthworks of a later prehistoric style hillfort in which the medieval castle was built (NPRN 307064). Early references to the site might refer to the hillfort, at least as a legendary site.
The hillfort is a roughly D-shaped enclosure, about 200m east-west by 120m, crowning the summit of the isolated, prominent hill. There are steep slopes on all sides, on the north the straight edge of the enclosure rests on precipitous crags. Away from the northern crags the enclosure is defined by traces of a bank, or by a single scarp. There is an internal quarry ditch and traces of an external ditch.
A slighter outer earthwork has also been identified. This runs some 20-50m without about the south-west to east sides of the main enclosure. It is represented only by scarps except where it forms a salient on the east with a circular banked section some 40m across.
The date of the enclosure is not known. Hillforts are characteristic of the Iron Age, although many were maintained and some appear to have been founded anew, across the Roman period. The castle works effectively slight the hillfort. The outer circuit could be associated with either the castle or the hillfort.

Sources: King in Archaeologia Cambrensis 123 (1974), 113-131
Jones in Archaeologia Cambrensis 147 for 1998 (2001), 234-9

John Wiles 26.07.07