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Dinas Gynfor Hillfort

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Map ReferenceSH39NE
Grid ReferenceSH3903595120
Unitary (Local) AuthorityIsle of Anglesey
Old CountyAnglesey
PeriodIron Age
a. A later Prehistoric style walled fort of roughly 9.7ha occupies a blunt coastal promontory.
The promontory is a craggy ridge ridge or hill standing cliffgirt above the sea on four sides with its long south-western side separated from the mainland by a marshy valley. A tumbled stone block wall, backed by a broad quarry ditch, runs part way along the crest above the valley, its line continued by a run of crags at either end with a combined frontage of about 500m. There is what appears to be a walled annex below the north-western crags, although this may part of the main enclosure.
There is a single entrance gap towards the eastern end, where an outer rampart or wall, branches out to run along the lower slopes to the west.
Large parts of the interior are taken up by crags and rocks, although there are also more level areas suitable for settlement.
The site has been much disturbed by China Stone quarries.
No finds are known from the site. Forts such as this are generally assigned an Iron Age date although many continued in use and others were founded anew, throughout and beyond the Roman period.

Sources: Williams in Archaeologia Cambrensis 4th series 7 (1876), 103-8
RCAHM Anglesey Inventory (1937), 37
Lynch 'Prehistoric Anglesey' (1970), 233-36

John Wiles 13.08.07

b. Described as a large promontory fort on the N sea-coast 1 mile NE of the parish church. The headland, with a
maximum height of 200ft, is bounded on 3 side by precipitous cliffs to the sea, and on the landward side by a steep
slope to a marshy valley, running between 2 inlets of the sea. The main defence is drawn across the top of the
landward slope, and consists of a wall of limestone blocks; there is an irregular quarry-ditch inside. On the NW the
wall encloses a natural terraced area backed by an outcrop, and then runs SE along the crest of a slope for about
250yds, where it is broken by an original incurved entrance approached by a trackway running diagonally up the
hillside. The wall continues 100yds SE to a natural citadel of rock, where another entrance is formed by a naturally
defended gully leading up from Porth Cynfor, with remains of a defensive wall at its base. The main wall is carried
on for 50yds NE of this gully and then dies out against the precipitous cliff.
A second line of defence, roughly parallel to the first and lower down the slope, runs from the E side of the incurved
entrance, looping round so as to protect the approach and running NW dying out where the slope becomes
preciptious. (RCAHM Inventory of Anglesey, 1937).
That portion of the fort that belongs to the National Trust lies on the NE and seaward side, gently sloping land down
to steep cliffs at the coast. There appeared to be no visible remains of ramparts or habitation sites within the area;
more significant remains are found on the more heavily defended landward side to SW.
Source: Survey of Anglesey (2004) Peter Muckle.
John Latham RCAHMW 25 July 2004