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Archaeological Notes and Queries.
CAERNARVON CASTLE-RECENT "FINDS."-By the kind permission of Mr. Trowbridge, the courteous local representative of H. M. Office of Works, Mr. Harold Hughes and myself were admitted into the Castle on Monday, the 16th inst., and were shown the silver coins recently discovered in the Granary Tower. They are 33 in number, and in size somewhat smaller than a present day shilling. They were found by workmen in the employ of the Office of Works when digging out rubbish accumulations from the vertical shaft of the Garderobe situate at the W. end of the Granary Tower. Adhering together, they lay in pile form at a depth of 34 ft. below the basement of the tower, and 9 ft. below the present level of the inoat. If originally enclosed in a bag or purse, no trace of either remained. When first found the pile was coated with rust,” and when the individual coins were separated, by using a penknife, some were found to have angular edges and to be otherwise defaced and injured. Mr. Trowbridge has removed the rust, and has restored them to a condition that will enable experts to ascertain their date and to decipher with more or less success their obverse and reverse inscriptions. For that purpose they were sent up that day to the British Museum to be examined by a competent authority on coins. At the bottom of the same shaft were found also the following articles :-Two trowels, two lead hammers, door key, dagger, base of an earthenware vessel, bronze buckle, spur, a gudgeon.
Oct. 19, 1911.
THE GAER, DOLAU, situated 5 miles from Rhayader, upon the Rhayader-Penybont road, is a Roman camp. It is situated on slightly rising ground in a valley. On the N. and W. sides the vallum can be easily discerned, but to S. and W. no signs now remain; on this side the ground rises abruptly out of what must have been a morass in Roman days. The ground has been much ploughed, but several dressed stones have been found here; if these were Roman possibly the sacellum was of stone and the remainder of the camp of wood, as is found in various Roman stations, and this camp was possibly not of such a temporary nature as was once supposed. It is said that in memory of man a paved road was destroyed leading to the camp.
H. Lewis, Jun.
SIXTH SERIES.-VOL. XII, PART II
PREHISTORIC REMAINS ON PENMAENMAWR (KNOWN AS BRAICH Y DDINAS)
REPORT ON THE SURVEY AND EXCAVATIONS
BY HAROLD HUGHES
IN 1909, the quarrying on Penmaenmawr Mountain having advanced so far that a portion of the outer fortifications on the N.W. side had already come within the area of operations, the Cambrian Archæological Association determined to have the prehistoric remains on the summit surveyed before they suffered further destruction. Permission was readily granted, towards the end of the year, by the quarry proprietors.
The summit, with a considerable length of the N.W. fortifications, and their return on the N.E., have, so far, been plotted. These are shown on the plan, Fig. 1. On the summit are two large cairns, the southern in a very dilapidated condition, the northern made use of as a trigonometrical station by the Ordnance Survey officials, and probably restored by them. The well, mentioned in most accounts of Penmaenmawr, lies to the N. of the northern cairn. A third cairn, of which there are only the fragmentary remains, occupied a position to the N.E. of the well. The central cairn occupied the true summit of the mountain. The height given on the Ordnance Survey is 1550 ft.
The N.W. defences consist of two walls, placed at only a short distance apart. Where they return on
6TH SER., VOL. XII.
the N.E., the number is increased to three. portion of the outer wall on the N. W. side, missing on the plan, had been quarried away before the survey was commenced. For the greater extent the lines of the walls are marked only by fallen stones, and the original faces are not defined. Where there is any uncertainty, the outer faces are indicated by broken lines, and the walls are shown hatched in. Only where a face could be traced is it drawn definitely on plan, and the walls are blacked.
Practically every day devoted to the survey has been unfortunate in respect to the weather. At the best, a high and cold wind has been blowing; at the worst, operations have been rendered impossible, due to heavy rain.
At the Abergele Meeting of the Association a grant was made towards carrying on excavations at Braich y Ddinas. Permission was asked and readily obtained from Messrs. Brundrit and Co., the granite quarry proprietors, to excavate within the camp. Mr. J. H. Higson, the managing director, and Major Johnson, kindly did all in their power to facilitate the work. They made arrangements for men, usually employed in the quarries, to work under my directions. Excavations were carried on for one week-from September the 18th to the 23rd last. It is hoped to resume work next spring.
Five sites, referred to as A, B, C, D and E, were excavated.
The first hut examined was that known as "the double-hut," and marked c on the plan published in Arch. Camb. for 1877. It is situated within and close to the second rampart. A plan and section are here illustrated on Fig. 2. The large area of wall surface compared to that of free space enclosed will be noticed. The two portions are marked A and B on plan.
main entrance, nearly 4 ft. wide, faces S.E. This communicates directly with the eastern end of the outer chamber, or room A. Immediately within the
entrance, a short passage, running nearly due N., leads to the inner chamber B. The outer wall, on the southern side, marked R on plan, is of great thickness, and is constructed in two stages, the outer of less
height than the inner portion. The ground falls from the N. to the S.
After clearing away the stones fallen down within the hut, it is remarkable that there was very little
further accumulated débris.
Practically all finds were discovered within the upper 6 in. The solid surface appears to have been