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Din Lligwy Hut Group

Moelfre, Anglesey

Location Guide

Photo by Eric Jones 

Din Lligwy Hut Circle is a small fortified ancient village site near the east coast of Anglesey, close to the village of Moelfre.

Its not known for sure when this was built, we know from coins and pottery found here it was occupied in the 3rd and 4th centuries, in the Roman period of our history. Some think it dates from before this period, placing it in the iron age, but there is little to support this.

In exploring the inner buildings its possible to overlook the boundary wall, which is 5ft thick, built from two rows of large limestone slabs with rubble infill. Currently its up to 4ft high, but would have been higher.

There are 2 round and a number of rectangular buildings, its generally assumed that the round buildings were accommodation, while the rectangular ones were for animals and for workshops. Currently wall remains from buildings are 3-5ft high. The largest of the round buildings is 21ft (6.4m) across, with walls 7ft (2.2m) thick.

Smelting hearths were found in some of the rectangular buildings suggesting they had been used at least at one point for metalworking.

Artists impression of how it used to look

Artist impression of the round houses in use

Din Lligwy sits on a low hill with good views over Anglesey and a reliable source of fresh water nearby. The hill is now overgrown with Sycamore and Ash trees, but it is probable that when it was occupied, the village would have had uninterrupted views all around. The modern entrance is through a break in one of the walls but the original entrance was south and next to this, on the outside, is a rectangular building.

The general theory is that a small village, or farm existed here in pre Roman times, perhaps going back a very long time, and that in the time of the Roman occupation some of the Roman design features were incorporated into buildings developed for metal working and perhaps animals. The development is strongly influenced by what perhaps they had seen at a Roman fortress, but the people still preferred to live in the style of house they were familiar with, and perhaps already existed.

Some suggest that it was at the time the Roman's were leaving or losing influence and the risk of raids was greater that the wall was built around the existing village, the shapes being determined to use existing barn structures and to reduce the amount of wall that had to be constructed.

The sign at the site says they think the buildings and wall was up at the same time, this being the later Roman period, but the site had probably been used before, it suggests that this is one of a number of similar fortified farms or small villages within the valley.

Although a walled site its defences do not appear to have the capability to withstand a military attack.

Standing in the centre looking towards the left on the plan below.

The site layout

The site covers half an acre and consists of the foundations of a number of buildings, with the entire area enclosed by a thick double wall, filled in with rubble. The size and shape of the buildings vary, suggesting different purposes. The round buildings are typical of iron age domestic dwellings, many of which are scattered around Anglesey. Excavations in the largest, in the upper left corner of the plan on the right, found Roman coins, pottery and a glass jug, as well as a silver ingot. This one is thought to have been the chieftain's hut.

The rectangular building in the upper right was found to contain large amounts of metallic slag, as well as remains of several hearths with charcoal formed from oak. It was evidently a workshop for the smelting and working of iron. The entrance to the fortified compound was through a gap next to the external building.

Currently there is a break in the wall on the right, said to be the modern entrance, which generally is not thought to have existed at that time but could have also been an entrance through a controlled space. Realistically, we don't have enough remains to know.

See Larger Image Plan of Din Lligwy

Standing directly in front of the round house on the right of the plan above,
its magic what you can do with a fisheye lens.

Besides the main structures, shown on the plan and these are represented in the site by substantial solid walls, there are on the ground many more sections of stone walls, most thinner and less complete. Its possible that these are ancillary buildings, animal pens or it could be that some of these are the remains from previous developments on the site.

See Larger Image Click on any of these smaller images
to see a larger one

The Holyhead Mountain Hut Group was occupied at the same time, but is more spread out and without a defensive wall, this may have been because it had a larger population and was therefore more secure because of this, or it may be that walls of some type also existed there but are not documented.

Location: Din Lligwy Hut Group, nr Moelfre, Anglesey

Grid Reference: SH496861 Ceremonial County: Anglesey

Map Link: Multimap Get-A-Map

Aerial photo: Multimap (good)  Google

Getting there: At the roundabout where the A5108 to Moelfre joins the A5025, go round and slightly across into a narrow lane that takes you to Lligwy Bay, signposted to Din Lligwy.

Follow this winding lane pass the Lligwy Burial Chamber on your left, a little further on the left you come to a parking area on the side of the road marked up Din Lligwy.

Access: From the road go over the stile and down into the field following the path to Din Lligwy, past Capel Lligwy then through a kissing gate and through the woodland up some steps and out of the woodland the site is ahead of you on the ridge.
Website: CADW
Other Useful Websites: Geograph   Wikipedia   Anglesey-history  Geograph
Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times: Open at all times

Charges:  No entry costs

Nearby Locations: Capel Lligwy     Lligwy Burial Chamber
Other Location Pages: Holyhead Mountain Hut Group

Other Relevant Pages: Anglesey Attractions    Anglesey Attractions Map

Romans on Anglesey





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By: Keith Park Section: Stone Circles Section Key:
Page Ref: Din_Lligwy Topic: Stone Circles Last Updated: 07/2010


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