Pen Dinas is the name of a large hill just south of Aberystwyth where an extensive Iron Age, Celtic hillfort of international significance is situated.

The hillfort actually consists of two separate forts built many years apart, which were later combined to form a larger structure. The first fort to be constructed was on the lower northern summit. It consists of an outer ditch and inner rampart of rubble. It would originally have been surmounted by a wooden palisade. The main gateway is on the western side and is formed by a stone lined gap in the ditch and bank.

After this first fort was eventually abandoned several decades passed before work began on a new fortification on the higher summit to the south. This second site is better protected by a steeper slope on the western side. To the south and east huge terraced earth works were built faced with shale which would again have been topped with a wooden palisade. Entrance into the southern fort is via gateways to the north and south. They are both formed of narrow passageways through the earthworks and would also have had timber bridges to cross the ditches. The northern gateway is kinked to the left, probably to aid defence by slowing down attackers.

Eventually the southern fort too became derelict and there is evidence that some of the wooden structures by the northern gateway were burnt. This could be following a hostile raid on the fort or because lack of resources lead to its abandonment. However, sometime later the defences of the southern fort were rebuilt this time to a different layout.

The final phase in the fort's construction was the refortification of the northern section and the construction of banks and ditches to connect the two forts together thereby enclosing the entire hill top. The coming of the Romans to the area in about 74 AD may have led to the forcible abandonment of the fort or it may have fallen from use before then but the only evidence from the Roman period is an early 4th-century coin hoard of Roman currency possibly left as an offering to a shrine on the hill.



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Founded: 300 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Stuart Jones (11 months ago)
Beautiful monument and site to visit if you enjoy good walk with spectacular views both North and South along the Welsh coast.
Jay Patel (11 months ago)
On sunny day you can climb up to pen dinas, it have amazing views
Ben Freeman (14 months ago)
stunning views on a clear day views from Pembrokeshire to Snowdon if you're lucky. watch the edges and wind gust if you have little ones . lots of un even ground for those less able on their feet thanks to the previous occupants thoughtless constructions in previous generations ;)
Christopher Thomas (15 months ago)
Lovely setting, great views and a nice short walk.
Mel Jones (16 months ago)
You can't get away from the history and impressive views BUT information provision, route descriptions and wayfinding are awful.
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