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to notice it very briefly. It occupies the whole summit of Cefn Carnedd, a hill of considerable height, which commands the entrance of the upper vale of the Severn on the right, and of the valley of the Carno on the left. It is equally distant from the villages Caersws and Llandinam, and may be ascended from either, the ascent from the Llandinam side being perhaps the easier of the two. It is one of the largest camps in the county, nearly oval in form, lying in the direction of south-west and north-east, and measuring 650 yards by an average breadth of 200. The enclosed space occupies an area of about 25 acres. About 150 yards from its western end a rampart runs at right angles to its longer diameter, dividing the camp into two unequal portions, the smaller, from the nature of the ground, being the stronger of the two. posite end, where the hill slopes more gently towards the river, there are no less than three broad deep ditches, with their accompanying ramparts, evidently pointing out the direction whence its occupants expected the attack. Though no systematic excavation has been carried on within the limits of the camp, part of a sword and a fine quern have been dug up by some labourers. The site was well selected, the hill commanding a view of the approaches for a great distance on all sides, and embracing the villages of Caersws, Llanwnog, Trefeglwys, and Llandinam, the distant Plinlimmon, together with the Van, Pen-y-gaer, and the post on Pen-clun.
Gaer Fechan.—Gaer Fechan (small fortress), a name given it probably in contradistinction to the larger camp on Cefn Carnedd, occupies the summit of a ridge of high ground on the left bank of the Severn, a mile and a quarter to the south of Cefn Carnedd, and about three quarters of a mile to the south-west of Llandinam Railway Station. It is, or rather was, a pentagonal camp of great strength, described by Pennant as a “ British post surrounded by a number of fosses, from one to five, as the strength or weakness of the parts re
quired.” When the writer visited the spot, the old entrenchment was occupied by a farm-house and outbuildings erected in the year 1863. Portions of the ramparts and fosses could be traced in the rear and front of the house. This hill commands a most pleasant view of the vale of the Severn, and the Llandinam hills. Whether Pennant's conjecture of its being a British post is accurate or not, is a matter which cannot now be determined. Its position favours his opinion, and of its not forming one of the series of works which were probably constructed by Roman engineers on the high ground which lies between the Severn and the Taranon, for the double purpose of protecting their communications by means of the trackway passing through the vale of Trefeglwys, and of serving as posts of observation. Remains of two of these works still exist.
Clois-y-Bank Earthwork. The first is on a field be. longing to a small farm known as Clois-y-bank, about a mile to the south-west of Cefn Carnedd, and about a mile and a half to the north-west of Gaer-Fechan. Its position is marked on the little sketch map which illustrates Mr. Davies' paper on Caersws, and is there styled an entrenchment. Sufficient vestiges remain to pronounce it to have been originally a small rectangular work of considerable strength, requiring little artificial aid, the approaches being precipitous on all sides except the western, which is strengthened by a deep fosse and high vallum. The camp lies almost north-east and south-west, and measures about 90 yards by 45. When the present occupant of the farm first ploughed the site, he discovered an immense quantity of stones at the western end, which he removed for building purposes. In his opinion they formed a portion of an old wall, and he further stated that much stone still lies buried there beyond the reach of the plough. This work commands a view of the route of the Roman trackway, and of the south-western end of Cefn Carnedd.
Pen-y-Castell.—The second station lies about a mile
and a quarter to the south-west of the latter, and about three miles distant from the town of Llanidloes, on the farm of Pen-y-Castell Fach, occupying one of the summits which overlook Llyn Ebyr, a beautiful sheet of water covering from 50 to 60 acres. This earthwork consists of a circular mound, level on its top, with the exception of what appears to have been once a low agger round its edge. It is about 28 yards in diameter, surrounded by a ditch varying from 10 to 16 feet deep. In the rear of the mound may be traced the outline of a rectangular entrenchment, with two of its sides nearly obliterated by cultivation. Enough, however, of its third side remains to give an approximate idea of its form and extent. Like the work on Clois-y-Bank it lies in the direction of north-east and south-west, and measures about 110 yards by a breadth of about 90. From its elevated position it commands an extensive and pleasing view, the two earthworks next described being plainly visible from here. A few fields distant lies a piece of turbary known as Rhos-y-beddau (the moor of the graves), apparently an ancient burial-place.
Prof. Babington, in his notice of a similar work (Arch. Camb. for 1852, p. 25) at Penlan Castle, after discussing the question of the relative ages of the circular fort and the rectangular enclosure, without pronouncing decidedly, seems inclined to the belief that the former was the later construction. His arguments seem applicable to the mound and entrenchment at the moat near Caersws, but the regularity of the circular structure at Pen-y-Castell militates somewhat against his inference, and inclines the writer of these lines to the opinion that the mound and rectangle in the present instance are the work of the same people.
Pen-y-Castell (No. 2).—Two miles to the west of the last work, across the vale of the Cerist, lies another post bearing the same name on the summit of a small hill, which might be said to overhang the small farm of Llywn-llys, in the township of Manledd, in the parish of Llanidloes. This camp seems to have been an ex
tensive one, pentagonal in form, pointing in the direction of the brook, which runs at the base of the hill, The northern portion has been under cultivation for at least thirty years, so that the limits of the work in this direction cannot very well be made out, but that portion which has not been ploughed up is in good preservation. As nearly as could be ascertained its measurements were in its longer direction about 200 yards by a breadth of about sixty. The sides which form the apex of the pentagon are very precipitous, and require no fortifications to secure the camp in this direction, but on the side nearest the Van the slope is more gradual, and the engineer constructed a line of works, consisting of an agger and fosse, at a distance of about 30 yards from the main line of defence, in a direction parallel to it. Like most of the earthworks noticed in this paper, this commands a view of a vast extent of country, embracing the beautiful vale of Trefeglwys as far as the neighbourhood of Caersws. One of the farms near the earth work is known as Lluest-wen (fair encampment).
Although not of the usually accepted orthodox rectangular form, several reasons lead the writer to conjecture that this is a Roman work. The site, on a moderate eminence sufficiently elevated to protect it against a surprise, together with its proximity to the brook, is just the kind likely to be selected by à Roman engineer; while its inconsiderable height, as compared with the Van (which is 1576 feet), in its immediate vicinity, would lead the Britons to reject it. From its construction the occupants of the camps evidently expected the attack from the direction of the mountain, whither the Britons were likely to retreat, and it is hardly to be expected that they would have a post of these dimensions in the immediate neighbourhood of their camp on Pen-y-Clun. The regularity of the design and structure, the similarity of its form to the well ascertained Roman work at Caer Leb; the identity of its name with the undoubted Roman post near Llyn Ebyr; and lastly, it seems the last link of the chain of works connected
with Cefn Carnedd which was occupied by the Romans after the defeat of the Britons; all tend to point out its Roman origin. Should further proof be needed, it may be found in Godwin's English Archcologist's Hand. book, at p. 23, where the following passage occurs :
“ The two former (the Castra exploratoria and estira) were constructed with more or less care according to the strength of the enemy, or the remoteness of the new camp from the general base of operations; and they assumed great irregularities of form, as induced by the necessity of circumstances or the nature of the ground. They were generally built on heights, and have left their traces, and frequently their generic name Castra (Anglicè 'Castle,' and it may be added Welsh Castell) on many of our principal hills.'
Pen-y-clun Camp.-The British post alluded to in the last paragraph is rather more than a mile to the westward, accommodating its form to the crest of a high isolated hill above Pen-clun farm. It is situated nearly three miles to the north-west of Llanidloes, on the right hand side of the old road leading to Machynlleth. The precipitous nature of the ground protects the entrenchment upon its northern and eastern sides, and that portion of the hill which faces the vale of the Cerist consists of a number of natural platforms ranging one above the other, and admirably adapted for the purposes of defence. Yet to make this part of the hill secure, a circular line of works, consisting of a fosse and agger, 140 yards in length, stretching from one slope to the other, has been constructed. Eighty yards to the north-west of this line another stronger rampart and fosse almost in the form of a horse shoe, forms the inner enclosure of the
camp. The space thus enclosed is nearly level, sloping slightly to the west. On the latter side the hill slopes very gradually, and therefore required extra works; accordingly, at a distance of 40 yards from the last mentioned line is a similar strong agger and deep fosse, extending from the vicinity of the old Machynlleth road in a semicircular sweep across the hill to a point where the nature of the ground needs no artificial as