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Moel Hiraddug Camp

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Map ReferenceSJ07NE
Grid ReferenceSJ0631678542
Unitary (Local) AuthorityDenbighshire
Old CountyFlintshire
PeriodIron Age

Crowning the isolated hill Moel Hiraddug are traces of a titanic stone walled fortress, the northern part of which, along with the hill itself, has been obliterated by limestone quarrying.
A collection of late Iron Age metalwork, including shield fittings, was found in making a road to a mine on the summit in 1872 (for the mine see NPRN 34002) and excavations were carried out on the fort itself in advance of quarrying over the period 1954-1980. These examined some internal buildings, but concentrated on the ramparts.
The fort extends over an area of about 12ha, and is roughly 450m north-south by 200m. It is defined by denuded and tumbled stone walls or ramparts up to 4.0-6.0m wide. These were of stone rubble between stone block revetments. The west side rests on precipitous slopes and here there is only a single wall. On the east side where there are gentler, broken slopes there are up to three lines of walls with ditches and a counterscarp bank. In the obliterated northern area the walls ran close together, but further south the inner wall turns in creating an outer enclosure some 70-75m across. The 7.5ha inner or main enclosure is only 60-90m wide at the south end, where it encloses the summit ridge, but was up to 175m wide on the falling ground to the north.
The main entrance to the inner enclosure opens onto the outer enclosure. There are two entrances in the short south side protected by complex outworks, one opening onto the inner enclosure, the other onto the outer. There are also entrances in the north and east sides. There are or were, traces of perhaps at least 50 roundhouses within the two enclosures. The position of several post-built structures have been plotted from grass marks.
The few finds point to occupation in the fourth century BC and limited radiocarbon dating suggests that the fortress may have been constructed at least a century earlier. It seems likely that the outer circuit represents an original 10.5ha fort to which the inner enclosure was subsequently added. The metalwork found in 1872 (see Archaeologia Cambrensis for 1928, 253-84) probably dates from the first century BC/AD and indicates that the fort then remained a significant feature in the landscape even if it had long since ceased to be occupied.

Sources: Houlder in Flintshire Historical Society Publications Journal 19 (1961), 1-20
Brassil and others in the Flintshire Historical Society Journal 30 (1981-2), 13-88

John Wiles 02.01.08