« PreviousContinue »
The hut walls are distinct from one another. village was first discovered by Mr. A. E. Elias in 1908, who pointed it out to the writer in 1911.
This composite Hut-circle, marked 43 on the map (Fig. 1, Arch. Camb., Jan., 1912) is situated on the western slopes of Foel Lwyd, not far from the Roman Road. It is a most interesting group of remains, consisting as it does (Fig. 3) of three circles connected with each other, and a small circle adjoining.
The three are arranged in a straight line in an E.S.E. and W.S. W. direction (Fig. 4), the central one (20 feet in diameter) being the largest, the thickness of the walling being from 3 feet to 4 feet. The entrance is to the W.N.W., about 3 feet wide, and is protected by a wall and mound, about 11 feet in total thickness. On the eastern and western sides of the middle circle are openings, about 3 feet wide, into the circles on the E.N.E. and W.S.W. The diameter of the centre circle is 20 feet, of the western, 12 feet by 11 feet, and of the eastern, 11 feet by 10 feet; the walls vary from 31 feet to 4 feet in thickness. In the
angle between the western and the middle circle, on the northern side, is a small circle, 9 feet in diameter.
From the northern side of the entrance runs a wall, about 4 feet wide, and built almost entirely of stones; this curves to the north, and at a distance of 111 feet is a large hut-circle (Fig. 4), about 20 feet in diameter, with a double ring of stones; beyond this the wall is gradually lost on the slopes of Foel Lwyd; similarly
Composite Hut Circle.
on the eastern side of the composite circle this wall curves round towards the slopes of Foel Lwyd.
The position of this composite circle seems to indicate that it may have been the abode of some chieftain, whose dependants lived in huts within the enclosure formed by this long wall.
The position is a good one, and as it faces S., the huts would be protected from the northerly winds. Being on a slope it is dry, while water could easily be obtained from the springs that form the source of the Afon Maes y Bryn (near No. 25, on map, Fig. 1, Arch. Camb., Jan., 1912).
Uplands near Foel Dduarth.
The position of these uplands has been described in the former part of this article, where the tumuli were described (Fig. 6, Arch. Camb., Jan., 1912). To the S. of Carneddau, on this map, is a circular village enclosure marked B. This is situated about 150 yards Hut Circles within circular
enclosure on the
west slopes of Foel Dduarth. (Near 300 fl.
S. of the Roman Road, before it rapidly descends in a zigzag course to the Anafon Valley; it is on fairly flat ground, with a gentle slope to the S. W., and behind it is Foel Dduarth; the position is a dry one, but there is abundant water from springs that rise in slightly higher ground to the N.
This enclosure (Fig. 5) is surrounded by a massive
wall or mound, 12 feet in thickness, in which are placed, at fairly regular intervals, stones about 2 feet 6 inches high by 18 inches wide; the present height of the wall is about 5 feet, but on the S.E., where the slope of the hill is greater, and the ground has been excavated, it is a retaining wall. The average diameter of the enclosure is 120 feet over all, and the entrance, which faces the N.W., is 8 feet wide, while to the N.N.W. is another entrance, 4 feet 3 inches wide.
Within the enclosure, and roughly about the centre, are two circles; the easterly one is 37 feet diameter over all, and has an entrance 5 feet 6 inches wide, facing the W.N. W., the wall being 6 feet thick; the westerly circle is 40 feet over all, the entrance, which faces the W.N.W., being only 4 feet wide, but expanding outwardly to 11 feet; the wall is 2 feet thick near the entrance. The walls of these huts are of dry walling, in horizontal courses, with an outer ring of stones about 2 feet high; where the huts abut on one another there is a party wall about 8 feet thick. On excavation they only yielded one or two sling-stones. The position of the enclosure and the strength of the walls seem to suggest that this may have been a small fortified village to command the road and the approach to the Aber Valley.
A Circular Encampment.
About 300 yards. to the N.E. of the village enclosure, on the N.W. slopes of Foel Dduarth, on the 1000 feet contour line, and 100 yards S. E. of the Roman Road, are the remains of a large encampment (marked a on Fig. 6, Arch. Camb., Jan., 1912), but, unfortunately, very many of the stones which formed the walls have been removed to form a large sheepfold, which is now situated within the wall of the encampment.
It is somewhat irregular in shape, with an average diameter of 160 feet, but the direction of its greatest length is N.E. and S. W. (Fig. 6). The surrounding
wall is about 9 feet thick, and must have been strongly built, as shown by the foundation stones, some of which, 3 feet high by 2 feet square, are firmly fixed in the ground; these stones are very noticeable on the N.E. side, and on the N. W. must have been of the nature of a retaining wall, as the slope here is considerable.
But few traces of hut-circles are visible; at the E. end is one (18 feet in diameter) showing a distinct
ring, in which were found some sling-stones, and inside the present sheepfold, at the N. end, is a smaller one, 10 feet in diameter, seven of the stones forming the ring being visible..
Being situated on the slopes of Foel Dduarth, the position is sheltered from the easterly winds, and is a dry one, though water is not far distant; it commands the road and may have been an outpost of the village enclosure.