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1. MOEL GOEDOG, HARLECH
SH 614325

This small hillfort has relatively slight defences but stands in an exceptionally commanding position. The almost circular summit of the hill is surrounded by two close-set concentric ramparts with shallow external ditches. The banks are nowhere more than 1m high, and it has been suggested that they must have been surmounted by a wooden palisade if they were to provide effective defence. The entrance – a simple gap through both ramparts – is in the south-west, where there is a natural line of approach between two natural rock ridges. A tumbled wall connects these ridges to create an inner sub-circular enclosure, which may have been the earliest fortification on the hill.

There has been no excavation to provide evidence of date or occupation, but Castell Odo, Aberdaron (Llŷn), which it resembles, is one of the earlier hillforts in North Wales, established in the Late Bronze Age. By the Iron Age the preferred settlement unit in this part of Meirionnydd seems to have been the concentric circle farmstead.

From the A496 coast road just south of Harlech turn off through Llanfair and then turn right up the hill, continue for about 4km, past two turnings to Cwm Bychan, until the road starts to dip down again and where a prominent farm track turns off to the east. Moel Goedog is the hill immediately to the north. An old track leads towards it through a gateway. This route is thought to be an important prehistoric track that leads up from Llanbedr and there are standing stones flanking it in places. A little further along here two Bronze Age cairns lie on either side of the track. The hill is all Access land so continue directly up the hill. There are walls across the fort at the top of the hill but there are stiles provided.

Distance: Return trip 1.5km (1 mile)
Difficulty: Medium. Steep climb but easy walking over grass.

Time: 1.5 hours

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