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Foel Drygarn

Foel Drygarn
Foel Drygarn

This site, sometimes spelt Foel Trigarn, is found at the summit of Foel Drygarn in the eastern Preselis. There are the remains of a large Iron Age hill-fort, built some time between 650 BC and 100 AD.

Foel Drygarn is one of the most spectacular of Pembrokeshire's Iron Age sites. Positioned at 363 metres above sea level on the summit of the eastern most hill of the Preseli range, it is one of the largest hill-forts in Pembrokeshire, with three defended enclosures covering almost 4 hectares in area.

These enclosures were defended in places with dry-stone walls joining natural rock outcrops, but mainly with earth banks with a stone facing. These ramparts have now mainly collapsed and the original stone facing is only visible in a few places; however the main enclosure's ramparts still have an external height of up to 3.5m, a testament to how powerful they must have been 2,000 years ago.

Perhaps what really makes Foel Drygarn standout from Pembrokeshire's other hill-forts is the excellent state of preservation of its internal features. The most noticeable of these features are the three large cairns which dominate the summit of the hill.

These massive monuments, which reach about 3 metres in height, and which give the fort its name (Foel Trigarn translates as ‘Hill of the Three Cairns') are probably not Iron Age, but are more likely to be Bronze Age burial mounds. The other noticeable features are the house platforms that give the fort such a pock-marked appearance in the photograph above. About 220 of these platforms have been counted, and although it is unlikely that they were all in use at the same time, it nevertheless indicates that Foel Trigarn was a heavily populated fortified village.


ID: 3938   Revised: 5/8/2013
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