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Castell Olwen, Lampeter

In the community of Lampeter.
In the historic county of Cardiganshire.
Modern authority of Ceredigion.
Preserved county of Dyfed.

OS Map Grid Reference: SN58024923
Latitude 52.12346° Longitude -4.07521°

Castell Olwen, Lampeter has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A rather irregular, curvilinear enclosure, about 112m north-south by 60m, tapering to generally 40m to the south, formed by scarping an isolated knoll towards the bottom of the Dulas valley: features associated with the centrally placed, west-facing entrance give the appearance of dividing the enclosure across its 'waist': truncated on the east by a now disused railway cutting. Its position relative to Castell Alltgoch (Nprn303882) seems similar to that of Bryn Cynon, Cellan (Nprn303862) to Caer Cadwgan (Nprn92307). (Coflein–as Iron Age Hillfort)

The monument comprises the remains of a hillfort, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 74, the Roman conquest of Wales). Hillforts are usually located on hilltops and surrounded by a single or multiple earthworks of massive proportions. Hillforts must have formed symbols of power within the landscape, while their function may have had as much to do with ostentation and display as defence. Castell Olwen occupies an oval bluff on the eastern side of the Afon Dulas. It occupies an area of 0.56 ha with a prominent bank and ditch on its northern side and heightened natural slopes around the remainder. The interior contains two low rises separated by a hollow with the remains of a ditch. This lowland late prehistoric enclosure forms a group with the nearby Castell Allt Goch (CD106) and Castell Goetre (CD107) and is a good and undisturbed example of this type of monument. (Scheduling Report)

A knoll, apparently of glacial material, fortified and divided into two by a vaguely marked ditch. On the weakest side, a bank 7 ft. high. (King, 1956)

Dyfed Archaeological Trust HER categorises as Medieval Ringwork.

This site is scheduled as a Hillfort and is probably Iron Age. King recorded this in his 1956 paper but excluded it from the 1963 joint paper with A.H.A Hogg, suggesting he no longer considered it medieval. However it's relatively small size and good position just north of Lampeter (but on wrong side of river to control road) means medieval use, possibly as a siege work, cannot be excluded.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 02/07/2016 18:28:54