Site of Parc Bryn Cegin prehistoric settlement

Site of Parc Bryn Cegin prehistoric settlement

Parc Bryn Cegin lies east of the ford and skew bridge over the Lôn Las Ogwen cycle and foot path here. Archaeological excavations in 2005 by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, funded by Welsh Government, found a wealth of prehistoric archaeology under these fields.

Photo of Roman seal box from Parc Bryn CeginRemains of a large timber-framed building showed where people had lived c.3700 BC, during the Neolithic period. On Parc Bryn Cegin in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age, pits were dug to heat water using hot stones. These were probably used for cooking, as well as other functions, and the heat-shattered stones were dumped in mounds around the pits, so these sites are known as ‘burnt mounds’. In upland areas, burnt mounds are visible in the landscape. Here the mounds had been flattened by centuries of ploughing, and they could only be found by excavation.

Several Iron Age roundhouses were also discovered. These had clay-walls and some were used into the Roman period. In one, a Roman seal-box was found in a drain. This box – pictured right courtesy of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust – would have protected the wax seal on a Roman document. Material found inside the box was analysed and found to be the remains of the wax seal. However, the authorities would not have sent documents to this native settlement – so perhaps the occupants bought or stole this pretty object!

Before the nearby Llandygai Industrial Estate was built, two large circular ceremonial monuments, known as ‘henges’ were discovered. These date to the Late Neolithic. There was also a long narrow monument known as a ‘cursus’, and an Earlier Neolithic house.

All these sites show that the area was an important focus of Neolithic activity.

With thanks to Jane Kenney of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust

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