Uncovering the Mysteries of Caerau Hillfort: Exploring Ancient Hill Settlement in Cardiff

Uncovering the Mysteries of Caerau Hillfort: Exploring Ancient Hill Settlement in Cardiff


The Caerau Hillfort is a remarkable archaeological site that sheds light on the ancient history of Cardiff. Located in the western outskirts of Cardiff, Wales, this is an important archaeological site that has been yielding valuable information about the Iron Age and Roman period in the region. The hillfort dates back to the Iron Age, around 600 BC, and was occupied until the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43. Excavations at the site, which began in 2012, have unearthed a wealth of artefacts and structures, shedding light on the lives of the people who inhabited the area over two millennia ago.

Unearthing of the Caerau Hillfort: An Overview

The Caerau Hillfort is an ancient hill settlement located in Cardiff, Wales. The site has been subject to a series of excavations and research since 2013, revealing a fascinating insight into the history of the area. The site is believed to have been inhabited during the Iron Age, and the discoveries made at the site have provided a valuable glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived there.

The excavations have uncovered evidence of dwellings, fortifications, and various artifacts, including pottery and metalwork. The site has become a popular destination for archaeologists and history enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of the region. In addition to revealing the ancient history of the Caerau Hillfort, the excavation project has also provided a unique opportunity for the local community to engage with their heritage.

The project has involved local volunteers, school children, and community groups, allowing them to learn about the site’s rich history and contribute to its preservation. This collaborative effort between archaeologists and the community has not only uncovered fascinating artifacts but also fostered a sense of pride and connection to the area’s past.

Discovery of the Caerau Hillfort

The existence of Caerau Hillfort was known to locals for decades, but it was not until 2010 that archaeologists from Cardiff University conducted a geophysical survey of the area and found evidence of an extensive Iron Age settlement. Excavations at the site began in 2012, and since then, a team of archaeologists, students, and volunteers have been working to uncover the mysteries of this ancient hillfort.

The Layout of the Hillfort

Caerau Hillfort is situated on top of a hill, providing a commanding view of the surrounding area. The fortifications of the hillfort include a series of ramparts and ditches, built in the Iron Age and later modified during the Roman period. The hillfort is also divided into several distinct areas, including a central enclosure and a series of terraces and platforms, which were likely used for housing, storage, and other activities.

Artefacts and Structures

Excavations at Caerau Hillfort have unearthed a wide range of artefacts and structures, providing valuable insights into the lives of the people who lived there. One of the most significant finds was a Roman villa, which was built on the site in the 2nd century AD. The villa had a central courtyard, surrounded by a series of rooms, and was likely used as a residence for the Roman governor or other high-ranking officials.

Other artefacts found at the site include pottery, coins, metalwork, and jewellery, which provide evidence of the trade networks and artistic skills of the inhabitants. Structures such as roundhouses, granaries, and workshops have also been uncovered, giving a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived at the hillfort.

Community Involvement

One of the most notable aspects of the Caerau Hillfort project is the extensive involvement of the local community. The excavation project was designed to be inclusive, with a focus on engaging with the local community and providing opportunities for people to participate in the project. Volunteers from the local area, including schoolchildren, have been involved in every aspect of the excavation, from digging and processing artefacts to creating interpretive displays and conducting tours of the site.

The Future and Legacy of Caerau Hillfort

Excavations at Caerau Hillfort are ongoing, and the project has already yielded a wealth of new information about the history of the area. The project has also served as a model for community-based archaeology, demonstrating the importance of engaging with local communities and providing opportunities for people to participate in the excavation and interpretation of archaeological sites.

The continued study of Caerau Hillfort is crucial to further our understanding of the Iron Age and Roman period in Wales and to provide a better understanding of the lives of the people who inhabited the area over two thousand years ago. With ongoing community involvement and continued excavations, there is no doubt that Caerau Hillfort will continue to yield new discoveries and reveal the secrets of the past.


The excavations carried out by the community-led project have revealed the fascinating remains of an Iron Age hill settlement and provided insights into the way of life of the people who lived there over 2,000 years ago. The discovery of the Roman coins suggests that the site may have had a significant role to play in the region’s history, and further research and excavation could reveal even more valuable information. The project’s success also highlights the importance of community involvement in archaeological research and the power of local initiatives to uncover hidden treasures and preserve our cultural heritage.

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