With a flask of coffee and the last of the Christmas Stilton we set off to roam the ramparts of one of the largest hillforts in Wales. Penycloddiau is about a 10 minute drive away.
The Offa's Dyke National Trail passes through the fort, over rounded hills, past a bronze age burial mound and a half frozen pond that may have provided the Iron Age residents of this high fort with water. The deep ditches and banks that kept livestock in and invaders out are still clearly visible.
Today, us and a couple of Ravens were the only invaders. The great black birds, glossy in the low winter sun, dropped their heavy 'kronks' like molten iron into the heather.
Two and a half thousand years ago people lived and worked up here in thatched roundhouses. Perhaps they took time out to admire the view across to Snowdonia as we did today, picking out the rare summit view of mighty Yr Wyddfa, the dinosaur back of Tryffan and the great bulk of Cadair Idris?
If you take your mobile phone (not very iron-age I know) you can dial 01745 222 123 when you get near one of four numbered posts and hear the voice of a hillfort resident telling you what life was like for the iron age folk who lived up here.
Or find out more about this and the other hillforts in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the web site.
|Looking Back towards Moel Famau|