3. Allt Wen

SH 745 773

This hillfort lies at the east side and overlooking the village of Penmaenmawr. The fort can be reached by a track leading north from the small car park at the top of the Pensychnant Pass, reached by car from either Penmaenmawr or Conwy. The hill and footpath that leads to it are immediately in front of the track as it takes the first sharp turn to the right. The path is not long but steep and with a loose gravelly surface, so needs care. A visit to this fort can be easily extended to include a visit to Caer Seion hillfort, about half a mile to the east.

This small fort lies on an extremely prominent, exposed and precipitous hill with wide ranging views yet with quite slight defences. These consist of a single, stone slab-faced wall of about 3m width, which encloses an area of about a hectare (2.5acres). Much of the interior is too exposed to have been useful for occupation but there is a more sheltered lower shelf on the north side. However, there are no definite roundhouse platforms to be seen there, the most likely being a single platform against the north rampart (A) There is only one entrance, at the north-east which is a simple gap (B), which would have had a gate and overlooked by an outcrop on the north, which provides a natural bastion (C). The original access track (D) approached the entrance diagonally but still quite steeply, up the slope from a hollow in the steep hillside at the north-east.

There have been no excavations at, or finds from the fort but by comparison with others this small, simple fort probably belongs to the Early Iron Age, or Celtic Period, between the 6th to 3rd centuries BC and may have been replaced by the larger and more complex fort of Caer Seion, not far away to the east.

The fort lies within the Snowdonia National Park and the area of the fort and the paths are cared for by Conwy County Council. Please report any problems or damage.

Conwy County Council, Countryside Section: 01492-575200
Snowdonia National Park: 01766-770274
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust: 01248-352535. Web: www.heneb.co.uk