'The first litter spot of Snowdonia'
Bryn y Gefeiliau is a Roman fort in the Llugwy Valley. Also known as Caer Llugwy, it was founded around AD 90 to house a cohort of auxiliary soldiers - around 500 men in all. Recent geophysical surveys suggest that, around AD 120, a second, stone-built fort was erected over the eastern defences. It is thought unlikely that the site was occupied much after AD 140 and no evidence of a vicus, or civilian settlement, has ever been found here. Bryn y Gefeiliau means ‘Hill of the Smithies’, and it has been suggested that part of its function might have been to control lead mining in the area.
Excavations in the 1920s uncovered vast amounts of pottery fragments, dating from between AD 90 and 120. Their discovery led one observer to describe the site as ‘the first litter spot of Snowdonia’! The best of these fragments may be seen today in the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor.
Visitors to the site today can see, along with various earthworks, the remains of a large building. Even today the walls of this ruin stand around 3 feet (1 metre) in height, and it is thought to have been a mansio, or guest-house. Archaeologists also discovered the remains of hypocausts, thought to have been part of an under-floor heating system.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
From Betws y Coed follow A5 in direction of Capel Curig. At bridge near Ty Hyll take small lane left for ½ mile. Site in field on righthand side at bend in river.
Nearest station Betws y Coed - 5 miles
Nearest bus stop Ty Hyll / Ugly House, Capel Curig
Site of fort is on opposite side of river from A5. At Ty Hyll walk towards Betws y Coed over bridge and take first right. Small country road, site is on right after ½ mile.
Site visible from road. No access, private land. No designated parking space.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 746572
OS Landranger map sheet: OS 115
- Capel Curig