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6. BRYN CASTELL, LLANELLTYD
SH650204

This small fort lies on a hill at 320m (1000ft) OD. It consists of a just a single wall enclosing an oval area of about 0.1ha (1/4 acre). The enclosure wall is now very low and badly eroded but there are traces of internal and external facing and the naturally defensive steep slopes of the hill on all sides gave the fort a strong position. The wall was thickened and slightly in turned at the east side creating a more easily defended corridor approached by a trackway running diagonally up the hillside. There is one possible house platform at the north end of the interior but the small size of the fort means it could never have held many people. Its small size, single-walled construction and minima evidence of settlement means it closely resembles several other small forts in the area, such as Moel Offrwm Lower, Moel Faner, Craig y Dinas and Craig y Castell and was perhaps primarily designed as a strongly defendable refuge.

Reached via a minor road that runs up hill for 2km from Bont Ddu on the A496 on the north side of the Mawddach estuary between Barmouth and Dolgellau. The minor road ends, where there is room to park and from which a footpath runs westward for 600m when a small prominent hill can be seen to the north, on which is the fort. Follow the west side of the field wall towards the fort. The fort is on private land but is open and the owner allows access to monument.

Distance: Return trip 1.75km (1.2 miles)
Difficulty: Part fairly steep climb over rough ground
Time: 2 hours

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