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Wales Tre’r Ceiri - Town of the Giants, Gwynedd

The series of hills running along the spine of the Llyn peninsula at the tip of north Wales are all topped by Iron Age hill forts. The most impressive is Tre’r Ceiri which overlooks the village Trevor and all the way along the coast to Anglesey. At 450m above sea level this is overshadowed by the even more impressive Yr Eifl and one of the best aerial views of Tre’r Ceiri is from its summit.

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The hill fort can be reached from a signed but steep footpath from a small lay by on the B4417 or from parking in the car park above Nant Gwrtheyrn and walking across the hillside.

The hill fort dates from around 200BC although was probably at its height between 150-400AD and may have houses around 400 people. It was abandoned around 500AD.

The settlement an inner wall and a secondary and incomplete outer wall that was probably built later. Both are largely intact and stand up to 4m tall in places. The walls were built from the loose stones covering the hillside and experimental archaeology indicated they could have been built very quickly with three men being able to build about a meter of wall a day. The walls were very thick and the inner wall had had a parapet walkway running round the inside, reached up inclined ramps.

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(The pictures is scanned from a print taken in the 1980s hence the colour cast.)

There were two large gateways through the walls.

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NW gateway

Tre'r Ceiri. SW gate copy.jpg
SW gateway

The main gateway was to the south and is a massive offset double gateway through the two walls leading into the central area.

A smaller sally port can be seen on the north west side.

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The enclosed area climbs up to the remains of a Bronze Age cairn at the highest point.

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Within the walls are ruins of at least 150 small hut circles and 26 larger stone houses, many of which shared external walls. The inner floor surface was below ground level and the huts probably had roof trusses covered with turf.

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The remains of small enclosures have been discovered outside the hill fort and these may either have been pens for animals or small walled fields.

Artefacts from the site mainly date from the Romano-British period and include, potter, stone spindle-whorls and glass beads.

This is probably one of the best preserved defensive Iron Age forts in Britain. It is freely accessible.

The remains of walls and hut circles can still be seen on the top of Carn Fadryn (Madryn) further down the peninsula to Tre’r Ceiri.

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The hut circles on the top of Garn Boduan were very obvious after a fire in the early 1980s but have since become increasingly overgrown by vegetation.

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