Excavations at Castell Mawr Iron Age hillfort, Pembrokeshire
Authors: Parker Pearson, M., Casswell, C. and Welham, K.
Journal: Archaeologia Cambrensis
Castell Mawr is a small hillfort in the community of Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire. Thought to have been built on a Late Neolithic henge, it was investigated with four trenches in 2012–13. These excavations revealed that Castell Mawr’s main period of construction and use was in the Earliest/Early Iron Age during the late eighth–late fifth centuries BC with hints of an earlier human presence on the hilltop in the Late Mesolithic and Bronze Age. No definite evidence of any Neolithic activity was found, however, and the earthworks all date to the Iron Age. The hillfort’s Iron Age sequence started with a roundhouse, followed by a pair of concentric timber palisades built during the late eighth–late fifth centuries BC. An enclosing rampart was constructed around the hilltop, followed by a cross-bank. The final activity post-dating the cross-bank dates to the fifth century BC, slightly earlier than or contemporary with initial construction at nearby Castell Henllys. The Castell Mawr/Castell Henllys sequence confirms Murphy and Mytum’s (2012) model for long-term processes of settlement development in west Wales.