Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari


 Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari, Denbighshire

Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari - View from north

Directed by Gary Lock and John Pouncett

Fieldwork started in 2011 and is ongoing.  Featured in the November/December 2015 edition of Archaeology magazine, click here to read more.

Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari, is one of several hillforts in the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Wales and lies just outside of the area covered by the Heather and Hillforts Project which focussed on six hillforts. Following on from this ground-breaking work further investigation of these impressive hillforts has been done by Bangor University and by Liverpool University. By integrating with this increasing body of evidence our work at Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari is adding to an evolving regional approach to understanding the Later Prehistoric settlement record of the area.

Bodfari is the lowest of the Clwydian hillforts at c 200m, positioned outside the village of Bodfari, 5 miles north-east of Denbigh in the northern Clwydian Range, (NGR SJ 0950 7080). It is situated on the top of a discrete hill strategically located overlooking the confluence of the Rivers Chwiler and Clwyd with an enclosed area of c 2ha. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (FL073).

Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari - Trench 1         Moel-y-Gaer, Bodfari - Geophysics

Phase 1 of excavation (2011 to 2016) targeted geophysical anomalies in the centre of the hillfort, a roundhouse on an artificially levelled terrace and the inner and middle rampart in the south-western quadrant. Phase 2, from 2016, is ongoing and focusses on the northern in-turned entrance and the inner and middle ramparts centrally within the western circuit where there is a possible entrance. A brief report on the Phase 1 excavations is downloadable here, and Phase 2 here. The final report will appear in Archaeologia Cambrensis.

Excavations will continue in 2018 from Sunday July 22nd until Friday August 3rd inclusive. For more information contact Gary Lock or John Pouncett.

The Project is indebted to John and Banba Dawson for access and support and is funded by The Cambrian Archaeological Association, The Clwydian AONB SDF, The Prehistoric Society (James Dyer Award), The Robert Kiln Trust, the CBA (Mick Aston Award) and private donations.


Interim Reports

Interim reports for previous seasons can be downloaded below:

 Phase 1 brief interim.pdf (5.8 MiB)

 Phase 2 2017 interim.pdf (2.1 MiB)

Simon Callery and Stefan Gant will be working as artists in residence at Moel y Gaer during the 2014 and 2015 excavations. The artwork they produce will be informed by the process of the excavation and the landscape in which the site is located.

Simon Callery has worked in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology in the past on the Segsbury Project, 1996 – 2003. At Moel y Gaer he aims to deepen the investigation into the potential for archaeological excavation sites to stimulate new forms for contemporary painting.

Stefan Gant has strong personal ties to the area and a knowledge of the surrounding landscape having grown up locally. The exploration of contemporary drawing is central to his practice and his engagement with the site intends to generate lateral approaches to drawing whilst developing a deeper understanding of past landscapes.

Simon Callery                     Stefan Gant