Day 171 Mile 171: A Giant’s Castle, Wolves, Bats and a Sword Under the Stone
Every so often it pays of to be a tourist in somewhere you think you now well. This morning I picked up leaflet suggesting walks around an area I have worked in for years and, as usual, discovered somewhere astounding I previously had no knowledge of what so ever.
Little is known by anyone about the origins of Castell Cawr (Giant’s Castle). Standing on the summit of Coed y Gopa overlooking the town of Abergele, the area today is largely overgrown.
It would once have been a small but well-defended hillfort. It is built on a natural limestone outcrop with sheer cliffs to the north-east and substantial earth ramparts to the west and south. Even today, some of these rise up to about 30ft. A timber rampart on top of the earth bank would have made the defences at this hill fort formidable commanding extensive views over the lower Clwyd Valley.
Surrounding the fort are the probable remains of at least eight roundhouses and a huge ditch known as , Ffos-y-bleiddiaid, or the Ditch of the Wolves, which while currently not home to any wolves these days is home to a large colony of lesser horseshoe bats.
In driving a level into the mountain, some years ago, the miners discovered that the Romans had been deep in the bowels of the earth before them. They had followed the vein, where it was large enough to admit of a small man, and where it opened out into a larger chamber, they had cleared it quite away. When the vein became too small to admit a man, they were obliged to relinquish the ore. Some curious hammers and tools, but almost decayed into dust, were found in these chambers; also the golden hilt of a Roman sword.
‘Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales’; J. O. Halliwell, 1860.
It’s like discovering a fairy-tale world on your doorstep!
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 2126.2 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!