Practice makes perfect
The five Roman practice camps at Dol Ddinas, dating to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, are among the best preserved in Europe. They once served the Roman fort at Tomen y Mur. Located within the Snowdonia National Park near Trawsfynydd, visibility is limited at ground level. The ancient earthworks are in fact easier to spot when the ground is dry.
Practice camps formed an integral part of the training regime for soldiers of the Imperial Army, and were built a short distance from the fort. Training manuals of the time detail the high standards expected of troops serving the Roman Empire, and the practice camps were required to be smaller-scale versions of full-size forts, with perfectly proportioned defensive walls and gateways. As well as improving fitness, valuable fort-building skills could be learned and refined for use in the field.
Troops were expected to build defensive structures quickly and efficiently, whatever the nature of the terrain. Senior officers carefully inspected the finished camps to ensure they met the standard demanded.
The size of the camps at Dol Ddinas varies somewhat. Three are around 44 metres square, while the remaining two are slightly smaller.
- Good Walks Nearby
At Trawsfynydd turn onto Bala road A4212. After 1.2 miles take the first left at Bwlch Gwyn Uchaf.
Porthmadog - 14 miles
Nearest bus stop at Trawsfynydd - 2 miles
Regional Route 13
Follow track from Bwlch Gwyn Uchaf to deserted farm Dolddinas.
1-mile walk over boggy ground. Walking boots and OS map required. Dogs must be on lead. Permission required for parking.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 735378
OS Landranger map sheet: OS 124
- Dol Ddinas Practice Camps, Cwm Prysor