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give us the best example of the habitations of the period that have been discovered in Britain.


Fig. 7.-Hut-circle of Bronze Age, Ty Mawr (Arch. Camb., 1868)

The hut-circles, known throughout Wales as Cyttiau'r Gwyddelod, or huts of the Gwyddel,' occupy, as

1 These circular huts were in use throughout the Ages of Bronze and Pre-historic Iron, and in Ireland to the present day. Their age can only be ascertained by their structure and contents.

a rule, dry sites sheltered from the wind, and protected by lines of wall, or by ridges and precipices capable of defence. Those on Ty Mawr, on Holyhead Mountain, are no exception to the rule, and they form a straggling village of not less than fifty huts, with precipices to the north, and with the southern slopes, protected by sharp

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Fig. 8.-Plan of Hut-circle, Ty Mawr (Arch. Camb.,



ridges of rock and rude walls. Each hut (Fig. 7) is represented by a circle, some 15 ft. to 20 ft. in diameter, formed of earth, faced with slabs and blocks of stone, both on the outside and inside, and with or without a clearly-defined vestibule. The walls are between 2 ft. and 3 ft. thick, and stand now about 2 ft. above the

1 According to the information of one of the old tenants, some of the walls of the huts stood formerly as high as a man's shoulders.

surface, and the entrance is, as a rule, flanked by slabs of stone, placed on edge, and in some cases 4 ft. or 5 ft. high. The roof was probably of thatch or turf, with a hole at the top to let out the smoke of the hearths, marked by the charcoal, and traces of burning, on the hearths. In the ground-plan (Fig. 8) the entrance is 3 ft. wide, and the vestibule widens to 8 ft., giving access to a circular space, 15 ft. in diameter, subdivided into two chambers, by vertical flags some 2 ft. in height, the outer with one fireplace and the inner with two.


Fig. 9.-Saddle-quern, Ty Mawr (Arch. Camb., 1868)

Some of the huts had no partitions and no fireplaces: all had been burnt, and the contents undisturbed, until they were scientifically examined.

The remains found in and around the huts prove that the village was inhabited by a tribe of shepherds and herdsmen, possessed of the same flocks and herds and hogs, as in the Neolithic Age, but also tillers of the earth, and leading very much the same life as the farmers of to-day. They ground their corn in saddlequerns (Fig. 9), so called from the saddle-like hollow, ground in the lower slab of sandstone by the action of the rounded muller. They used stone mortars for pounding their food, pebbles heated in the fire for

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Fig. 10.-Bronze Implements, Amber Beads, Ty Mawr (Arch. Camb., 1868)

cooking, and cups and jars of coarse hand-made pottery

at their meals. In addition to beef, mutton, and pork, they ate shellfish, such as limpets and periwinkles. They were spinners and weavers, and workers in bronze. This latter fact is proved by the hoard of broken and worn out bronze implements found within the precincts of the village, consisting of beads, spears, and javelins, plain and socketed celts, and rings and armlets of various sizes (Fig. 10). All these had been collected to be cast into new implements in one or other of the hearths that bear the characteristic stain of bronze. In this connection we may note that a stone mould has been found in Anglesey, for casting spear-heads and celts, of the same type as those of the hoard. Along with these bronze articles there were a great many amber beads, and in a neighbouring cairn, at Pen y Bonc, belonging to the Bronze Age, a portion of a necklace, made of jet or cannel coal, was found, along with armlets of bronze, and two urns. We may therefore infer that the dwellers in Holyhead at this time used personal ornaments, made from materials that could not have been obtained from any districts nearer than the east coast of Britain for the amber, or than that of Mold for the cannel coal, or North Yorkshire for the jet.

These habitations of the Bronze Age are superior to those of the Neolithic in their larger size, more solid construction, and in the sub-division of the interior into chambers.

The settlement at Ty Mawr, as well as that close by at Pen y Bonc, stands in close relation to Gaer y Twr, the stronghold on the top of Holyhead Mountain,1 which, from its position, must in all times have been the key to Holyhead Island. The rude stone walls, forming the existing ramparts, occupy the natural lines of defence, and may go back as far as the Neolithic Age. They are identical in structure with

Six-Inch Ordnance Map, Anglesey, x, N. E. and xi, N. W.

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