2. Bryn Euryn

SH 832 798

The hill of Bryn Euryn is prominent and visible at the north side of the A55 just west of Colwyn Bay. Turn off the A55 at junction 20 of the A55. From the junction turn north towards Penrhyn Bay and second left signposted to Bryn Euryn Country Park, where there is a car park with an information panel showing the path to the hillfort. The impressive ruins of the Late Medieval house of Llys Euryn can also be viewed on the way.

The hill has two lines of defences. Around the rocky summit a small area, about 35m square, was defended by a large stone wall. The lower top of the hill is a larger, fairly flat area of about 1ha that has natural sheer cliffs on the south and east sides while a bank rampart defence was built around the other two sides. Within the summit walled area are traces of structures but too heavily eroded by trampling to be understandable. ON the lower plateau is a possible roundhouse and two long rectangular ‘pillow mounds’. The latter are typical of those built for Medieval rabbit farming.

The layout of the fort with a small strongly defended inner area and a larger, more lightly defended outer area has been compared to the layout of a Medieval castle, with motte and bailey. Some excavations were carried out in 1997 that showed the inner wall to have had a rubble core with quarried stone facing, the line of which is still visible. There have been no finds to provide a date for the fort but an intriguing possibility is that it is an Iron Age fort, represented by the outer banked enclosure, which was re-used for an Early Medieval stronghold, represented by the inner walled fort. Possible supporting evidence for this derives from the Medieval name of this area, which was Dinerth, which can be translated as ‘fort of the bear’. This may provide a link to the writings of Gildas (in Latin) in the 6th century AD, about the early history of Britain, which mentions Cynlas Goch, king of Rhos (the region around Rhos-on-Sea), a cousin of Maelgwn, the founder of Gwynedd. Cynlas was described as belonging to the ‘bear’s refuge’, possibly the same as Dinerth. Bryn Euryn is not far from Maelgwn’s fortress, which is thought to have been Degannwy, not far away.

The fort and area around it are protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of Cadw. Any kind of damage, digging or metal detecting is prohibited. The Bryn Euryn Country Park and Nature Reserve is cared for By Conwy County Council. Please report any problems or damage.

Cadw: 01443-336000
Conwy County Council, Countryside Section: 01492-575200
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust: 01938-553670 www.cpat.org.uk