Coed Y Bwnydd Notes

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Guided visit by Dr.  Ray Howell to Coed y Bwnydd, August 24, 2013, 10:00 am - 12:00pm

The Silures were the Iron Age tribe of the south-east Wales described in Roman accounts as having engaged in protracted and surprisingly successful guerrilla resistance to the advancing legions. While the historical background is limited, the scale of Silurian resistance to Roman innovation described by Tacitus is remarkable. The tribal territory of the Silures is commonly placed geographically in modern Glamorgan and Gwent with the Wye and Tywi possibly providing natural boundaries. The most visible surviving Iron Age sites in this area are hillforts. Coed-y-Bwnydd is the largest and possibly best-preserved Iron Age hill fort in Monmouthshire, with a history of human involvement stretching back more than 2,000 years. It was excavated by Adrian Babbadge in the 1960's.


Coed-y-Bwnydd is situated high on a wooded promontory, 196m above sea level overlooking the village of Bettws Newydd and close to the Clytha Estate. Its steep and densely wooded slopes give way to a trivallate* fort where the well-preserved ramparts enclose a circular wooded centre. In fact, the ramparts are so well preserved that the fort’s importance is nationally recognised by its status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM). Coed y Bwnydd is a National Trust Site


We are very fortunate to have Dr Ray Howell, an expert in the Silurians as our guide. Professor Howell is Professor of Welsh Antiquity and Director of the South Wales Centre for Historical and Interdisciplinary Research. He is author of: Searching for the Silures: An Iron Age Tribe in South-East Wales

Entrance to Coed y Bwnydd

How to get there: 1. Drive: Follow the lane north east through Bettws Newydd up Clytha Hill. OR Follow up the lane from the road before you come to the Clytha Arms from Raglan about 2 miles to the site.

2. Walk Route Summary: Park at Clytha National Trust Car Park, The River Usk, The Usk Valley Walk, Bettws Newydd, Coed Y Bwnydd (fort), Clytha Castle, Clytha National Trust Car Park. Vital Statistics for this Walk: Length/Distance: 9km (5.5 miles), Total Ascent: 234m (768ft), Difficulty: Easy, Allow at least: 3hrs


  • it has three circular ramparts all of which are contained within one another
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