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A short guide to
Caer Drewyn Hillfort

by the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust

Caer Drewyn Hillfort CPAT AP 85-C-32

Caer Drewyn (OS national grid reference SJ087444) is set on a hill overlooking the valley of the Afon Dyfrdwy (River Dee) near Corwen, Denbighshire. In Iron Age times it must have dominated this important routeway with spectacular views of the valley and of the mountains to the west and north. It is now a scheduled ancient monument.

Today the hillfort consists of a massive stone built rampart with entrances on the west and north-east sides. The north-east entrance has guard-chambers built into it and is protected by a deep ditch. A triangular-shaped enclosure was added to the side of the fort at a later date, probably during the Romano-British or Dark Age period. Inside it are the remains of round stone buildings. The hillfort interior has not been excavated but would probably have contained round houses of stone or wood as well as rectangular four-post structures. The ruins of a number of stone buildings and the remains of house platforms can be seen in the north-east corner and on the south side of the fort.

Before the stone-walled fort was constructed an earlier Iron Age enclosure was built on the hill. Slight remains of it can be seen on the eastern side.

The remains of a number of medieval houses set on platforms in the western entrance of the hillfort show that the area was utilised long after the fort fell into disuse.

Air photographs show that beyond the hillfort to the north are the remains of field banks and a rectangular enclosure on the hillslope below. The date of these is not known but they may be associated with the hillfort. Another enclosure with a double-ditch lies further north and may be of Iron Age date.


Reconstruction drawing of Caer Drewyn hillfort as it may have looked in the Iron Age
© Nicholas Dooley

Access and parking
The closest parking is at the local swimming pool which is located on the B5437 opposite the end of the bridge over the Dee, on the road from Corwen (A5). The site can be reached by public footpath clearly signposted on the north side of the B5437 just east of the swimming pool. The footpath follows a good track which winds below the western side of the hillfort, it then swings hard right, up the western flank, along the outside of the southern rampart and to the north-east gate. Please keep to the footpath to prevent damage. Strong shoes or walking boots are recommended.

Time required for walk: 25-35 minutes in each direction plus time for exploring the hillfort. It is a steep climb to the fort. Ordnance Survey Landranger Map 125 Bala and Lake Vyrnwy.

Map of Wales

The above information comes from the Sites and Monuments Record of the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust. For further information about the historic environment of this area, contact:-

Jeff Spencer
Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust
7a Church Street
SY21 7DL

tel: (01938) 553670
fax: (01938) 552179

Compiled for the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust by Caroline Earwood and Neville Townsend

You may reproduce this material free of copyright for educational purposes only

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