The fortifications at Mount Yr Eifl were built around 200 BC. Most archaeological finds come from the years 150 – 400 BC, which indicates that the hillfort was inhabited throughout the whole Roman period. Because the settlement is located high above sea level (450 meters above sea level), it may have served as a shelter for summer shepherds, who also had winter homes in the lowlands. The settlement was abandoned in the 4th century AD.
The settlement was surrounded by a perimeter of stone walls with a shape similar to the elongated oval with dimensions of 289 by 103 meters and length of defensive walls of 620 meters. In addition, from the north and west, where the slope of the hill was the softest, a second, external wall was erected. The height of fortifications in some places is now up to 4 meters. An experimental maintenance program showed, that the wall was built by placing flat stones without careful selection for fit or facing. This meant that the wall could be built quite quickly. Reconstruction works showed that three men could build about one meter of the wall a day. Surprisingly, the entire circuit could be completed by 100 workers in about 20 business days.
Within the walls there were at least 150 smaller and 26 larger stone houses. They had round shapes and had originally roofs of grass. In Roman times, the settlement could accommodate up to 400 people. Entry to its area was provided by two main gates and three smaller ones in the form of regular breaks in the wall. One of them was placed in such a place, to allow residents to reach a narrow mountain path to the spring with water.
Tre’r Ceiri (translated as “The Town of Giants”) is one of the best preserved defensive settlements from the Iron Age in Great Britain. To this day, a defensive wall has been preserved, visible on a large part of the perimeter, reaching up to 3.5-4 meters in height and the foundations of round houses. In 1989, Cyngor Dosfor Dwyfor and Gwynedd County Council, financed by the governmental agency Cadw, began under archaeological supervision a long program of consolidation and repair of the fort. The project lasted ten years and ended with the renewal of this valuable monument. Admission to its area is free.
Website coflein.gov.uk, Tre’r Ceiri hillfort, Llanaelhaearn.
Website intarch.ac.uk, Tre’r Ceiri: An Exceptional Walled Fort.
Website wikipedia.org, Tre’r Ceiri.