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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 94517

Map Reference ST17SW

Grid Reference ST13377498

Unitary (Local) Authority Cardiff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Caerau

Type of Site HILLFORT

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Iron Age, Multiperiod, Roman

Site Description 1. Caerau Hillfort is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, comprising a 5.1ha. triangular, enclosed area measuring 400m (east-west) by 250m at the base. Its three earthwork ramparts with ditches are generally wooded, and the interior is pasture, formerly cultivated. There is a possible castle ringwork set at its north-east angle (NPRN 94518), with a church on its south (NPRN 301612). See also associated medieval settlement (NPRN15250). In 2011 the Department for Archaeology and Numismatics Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales along with Cadw and the Royal Commission funded a LiDAR survey of St. Fagans National History Museum and its environs including Ely. This work highlighted the distinctive triangular interior of the hillfort and the steep north and south slopes, both fortified by three massive ramparts with accompanying ditches. Further processing of the LiDAR data resulted in a ‘bare-earth’ digital terrain model, with houses and trees stripped away, revealing the magnificent sculpted ramparts and ditches.

RCAHMW, 2012

2. The hillfort has been explored between 2012-2014 as part of the Caerau Project, with geophysical survey, excavation and community engagement. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Caerau And Ely Rediscovering (CAER) Heritage Project is a collaborative project between Cardiff University, Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), local schools and local residents. Caerau Hillfort is the third largest Iron Age hillfort in Glamorgan enclosing 5.1 hectares (about the size of four football pitches). Excavations by Channel Four’s Time Team in April 2012 showed that occupation started about 600BC and lasted, probably not continuously, into the 3rd century AD. Further excavations in 2013-14 have shown occupation on the hilltop back to the Neolithic.
Information derived from Caerau Project Website 2014.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 2014

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