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3. PEN-Y-DINAS, TAL-Y-BONT
SH 606208

This is a strongly defended small fort on a prominent local summit at a height of 230m (750ft). It lies at the north side of the small deep valley of the Afon Egryn and with wide views over the coastal plain to the west, and the upland plateau to the east.

The fort is roughly circular following the shape of the hill on which it lies, which has steep natural scarps on three sides. The defences have been mostly robbed to build later walls but a small part survives at the east side. This shows it was a single massive wall or faced bank 5m wide and at least 3m high.

The entrance is on the north-west side where the slope is greater. The enclosure wall is thickened and in turned at each side of the entrance. A trackway approached from the north-west and the approach there was further protected by an outer defensive bank and ditch. Some excavations were carried out at the fort in 1919 but there were no datable finds. There are no obvious signs of buildings in the interior, but there is a large sub-rectangular platform about 15m by 10mjust inside the entrance. This feature could be a hay-stack stand, later than the occupation of the fort. This is a real possibility because all around the fort are the remains of Medieval houses and fields and more are to be found on the south side of the Afon Egryn. One of the walls of these Medieval fields blocks the trackway onto the fort, which seems proof that the fort had gone out of use by that time.

Park at the roadside close to the National Trust property of Egryn Abbey on the A496 coast road, south of Tal-y-bont. A footpath leads though the south side of the farmyard up the hill (cattle may be in fields), turns north to cross the Afon Egryn by wooden footbridge, then by a stile over a wall, then runs diagonally northeast up the hillside, joining a farm track that passes under the ramparts at the south-side of the fort. The fort is on private land but the owner allows access to monument.

Distance: Round trip 4km (2.5 miles)
Difficulty: Medium. Fairly step long climb, some rough ground and path not easy to follow.
Time: 2.5 hours

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