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Friday, 8 May 2015

The Hafod Tydfil embanked enclosure



I had a pleasant afternoon ambling about on the northern slopes of Mynydd Preseli yesterday in the company of Chris Johnson -- and we discovered many interesting things!  One of them was another embanked enclosure, which may or may not already be recorded in the literature.  The location is shown on the satellite image above.  We can see the upper edge of the grazed fields of Hafod Tydfil at top left, and the tor of Carn Goedog centre right.  The area of interest is centre left.  Here is an enlargement:


Leave the possible moraine to one side for the moment and zoom in on the embanked circular enclosure.  It's beneath the letter E on the image.  It's not quite circular, and not quite rectangular, and it's difficult to know how it should be labelled.  Ring cairn?  There does not seem to be any ditch either inside or outside the bank, and there are no traces of old buildings inside the bank either.  It's between 22m and 24m in diameter -- about the same size at the other embanked enclosure discussed in recent days on this blog.   But the embankment is not as substantial as in that example, and it may be simply a collapsed stone wall.  There seems to be an entrance on the south (upslope) side, with assorted stones embedded in the turf.  The best guess at the moment is that this was an animal enclosure.  Bronze Age?  More investigations are clearly needed.


14 comments:

Evergreen said...

Depending upon the zoom level, it seems to become different things..!

In general I would say it looks like a 'D' shaped enclosure - Iron Age?

http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/devonclp/Bywood_2.htm

And, are my eyes playing tricks or can I see a further, smaller circular feature at the south?

BRIAN JOHN said...

We,, the archaeologists think there were Iron Age settlements up here -- including the "village" at Carn Alw, not very far away. But I thought the consensus was that most of the old walls, field patterns, clearance cairns, enclosures, ditches etc might well be Bronze Age in this area?

BRIAN JOHN said...

There might well be other features -- some of them are very subtle in the landscape, and somebody should walk every inch of the terrain -- if he has the time.....

Geo Cur said...

It looks likely to be this .
http://cofiadurcahcymru.org.uk/arch/query/page.php?watprn=DAT11509
Although the grid ref is off by about 90 metres . When you do look at the area for the grid ref there is nothing as obvious as the enclosure and nothing marked for the area of the enclosure on archwilio .

Evergreen said...

Hi Brian, it's not an area I am particularly familiar with in general, you may well be correct.

BRIAN JOHN said...

The grid ref of the feature in question is SN 121331

chris johnson said...

My phone registered the following on a photo taken in the middle of the circle.
Lat 51 57 51,132N
Lon 4 44 14,028W

I know we think Welsh archaeology has done a thorough job mapping potential sites. However this area is very inaccessible and for much of the year bracken will obscure many features. Finding something new is always possible.

I corrected my own OS map to delete the drover's path running down the hill under Goedog. The general terrain is far too boggy and stony, with springs and little streams all over. The drover's road is an impossibility here - imho.

Geo Cur said...



A six figure grid ref can be out by as much as 140m .

The Archwilio 10 figure ref is SN 12130 33110 but that point is about 80 m to the west of the westernmost point of the feature see on G.E. .The description tallies and there is nothing at SN 12130 33110 that is noticeable on GE .I think they are just wrong with the grid ref and it is that site . Fwiw the centre of the site on GE is SN 12035 33079 give or take a metre on the final digits of the eastings and northings .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Geo -- commendable accuracy! Six-figure refs can be well out -- it depends on the skill of he who thinks he knows what the grid ref should be.....

Geo Cur said...


" Finding something new is always possible."


The site at SN 08751 33233 on the NE facing slope of Banc Llwydlos , which is not on Coflein or Archwilio and noted by Drewett as ‘multiple stone setting – passage grave’ ,looks interesting .

Hugh Thomas said...

Hi Brian
I stumbled across this enclosure too about two years ago, it is not the only one in the area as there is another much more heavily eroded on at 51 57 967 N 4 44 432 W , and a possible third much larger one I had yet to visit.This other one is barely perceptable on google Earth and only becomes apparent when practically on top of it. I from my own investigations of this area it seems to continue what is found across the boggy section towards the settlement north of Carn Goeddog . There are other sites of interest all along this slope .
If you go to the northern tip of Hafod Tidfyl head east keeping as much as possible to the fern growth (which prefers drier land ) it is possible with care to cross to the large enclosure discussed in the previous thread. You will find a number of unmarked sites all along there.....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Chris -- which drover's route? I don't know of a map that shows a drover's route going down slope below Carn Goedog...... the only sensible route goes BEHIND Carn Goedog and on towards Carn Alw, along the dry hillside. This is where all the trackways / rutted areas show up on the satellite images.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Here is all the data kindly sent by Chris:

Altitude: 287,26 m (942,46 ft)
Altitude Reference: above sea level
Date Stamp: 07 May 2015
Latitude: 51° 57' 51,132" N
Longitude: 4° 44' 14,028" W
Time Stamp: 14:52:11 UTC

chris johnson said...

Brian, you are correct. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had marked a drovers road on my map based on something I had read from a reliable source.

Sorry if I misled anyone.