Penycloddiau Hillfort, largest hillfort in Wales, Coffee Mug
Penycloddiau Hillfort, largest hillfort in Wales, Coffee Mug
by cooldudeproducts
Moel Y Gaer, Rhosesmor IroN Age Hillfort, Coffee Mug
Moel Y Gaer, Rhosesmor IroN Age Hillfort, Coffee Mug
by cooldudeproducts
 

Moel y Gaer, Rhosesmor

RHOSES~2.JPG

Moel y Gaer, Rhosesmor is a hillfort in North East Wales in Flintshire, it is six miles south of Holywell and a few north of Mold. The hill it sits on is one of those on the Halkyn Hills, The Halkyns themselves fall away to the south, and north, with Holywell on a hillside by the coast. 

Moel Y Gaer which means the bald hill, the fort in Welsh, sits above a village of Rhosesmor;. This village is a typical Welsh hillside village, with a main road passing between Holywell and Mold, and many typical 1 lane roads leading off from there that you get on hilltops in North Wales. The fort is barely a few minutes walk from the village, of farms, and cottages, and such, and if anything after driving up here, it more difficult finding a parking space than the walk itself, in my view. 

When you walk up to the fort, you notice it is a place for sheep, and a place where dog walkers, go for their daily or twice daily exercise. Also from the top you see it is a very round fort, about 180 metres in diameter, and of about 2.7 hectares in terms of internal area. The village is listed as 227 metres above sea level, typical for the Halkyns tops. 

From the top you can see to the west Moel Arthur overlooking the gap in the Clwydian Hills before they head off across to Moel Famau. It makes me feel it was guarding the pass below. North of there is of course Penycloddiau. Then to the north, you see the brows of hills falling away, and beyond there the sea. Then to the north west, the Wirral and Liverpool. Then to the east, you see the hills falling away then the plains of Flintshire and Cheshire. To the south you see Hope Mountain, which I have also been up, it is a hill. 

Excavations in the 1970s discovered occupation in the Neolithic but not a fort. Then in the 7th Century BC or thereabouts, a palisade. There were 3 phases of occupation, as next there was a rampart and ditch built, I count 2 of these amid the heather, and grass. Then it was left a while and reoccupied. From what I read, the ramparts were around in the 4th Century BC, so very much Iron Age there. 

Today a mast is there, I assume a phone mast which makes me think of the theory that hillforts had beacons on like warning types that the English used at the Armada. You know, you could warn other hillforts of incoming raiders and such. Well it is just a theory.

 

So 21 roundhouses have been located at the site from excavations from the rampart era, and later some rectangular structures from the 3rd phase. I think I have that right there, but am uncertain I got the phases right there, for certain, there were roundhouses followed by rectangles. 

There are a number of other Moel Y Gaer hillforts, and I mention those in another page, my hillforts.co.uk page on  Moel Y Gaer Bodfari, the words are hyperlinked so you can go to that page if you like. That Moel Y Gaer by Bodfari, is also in the eastern half of North Wales. With me there also mentioning 2 other Moel Y Gaer hillforts, one near Moel Famau, often called Moel Y Gaer Llanbedr,  also in the eastern half of North Wales. Plus another Moel Y Gaer which is near Llangollen, it kind of on the border between North East Wales and Mid Wales, depending on where you regard the border between those parts of Cymru to be. I suppose actually its really quite easily inside most people's definitions of North Wales. 

So anyway, any pics on this site are mine and you need my permission to use them. thanks for reading this site. Hope you enjoyed it, dear readers. . The pictures are both from the ramparts of this circular site, one is on the east, where you have a great view of Flintshire and the Wirral, though not from the picture,  and the other is looking west at Moel Arthur and it's pass that it overlooks, with also from there Moel Famau the famous highest hill  of the Clwydian Hills, with Penycloddiau, to the north of Moel Arthur, also able to seen on most days. So ends my article on Moel Y Gaer Hillfort, Rhosesmor. 

huts on moel artrhur.jpg