Carn Fadryn – hillfort


   Carn Fadryn is an Iron Age fort on the hill of the same name. The first period of the Carn Fadryn fortification dates to about 300 BC, when the top of the hill was fortified. Around 100 BC the area of the hillfort was enlarged towards the north. The third hillfort erected on Carn Fadryn was mentioned in 1188 by the chronicler Gerald of Wales, as the newly built “castle of Owain’s sons”. He considered the stronghold to be extraordinary, because by that time the local rulers used mainly timber and earth strongholds. Carn Fadryn was the center of power of the Welsh princes in the restless period after the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170 and one of the centers in the later partitions between his sons.


   The hillfort from the first phase closed the fortifications with an area of approximately 4.8 ha with two gates, one on the north side and one on the south side. Fort of the second phase closed a much larger area, including a hillfort from the first phase with an additional area to the north and south, a total of about 10.7 ha. The entrances were placed again in the north and south. Inside the castle there were many stone buildings, some of them shaped on the plan of the circle, some rectangular and irregular. Some of them had fenced courtyards or gardens.
   A medieval hillfort or castle occupied the highest part of the hill, on the verge of a steep slope on the western side. There, a narrow platform of rocks was used as a ready mound (motte), along the edges of which there were stone perimeter walls.

Current state

   The ruins of the castle consist of a narrow circle of not bound with mortar stones, forming a perimeter below the rocky hilly peak. There are no traces of internal buildings. It was quite a primitive and simple building, more like Darkk Age hillfort than medieval castle.

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Davis P.R., Castles of the Welsh Princes, Talybont 2011.
Salter M., The castles of North Wales, Malvern 1997.

Website, Carn Fadryn.
Website Carn Fadryn.