Dinas Brân Excavation
The Our Picturesque Landscape project team are excited to be working with Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust this week on the first ever recorded archaeological excavation conducted on Dinas Brân, thanks to funding from Cadw and National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Castell Dinas Brân is both an Iron Age hillfort and medieval castle, located high above the valley of the Dee overlooking Llangollen. The castle is sited on a long rectangular platform, which was possibly artificially levelled. The ground drops away steeply on all sides but particularly to the north. On the east side there was an ornate twin towered gatehouse unique amongst Welsh castles, and seems to be an imitation of what was current fashion for English castles but squeezed into the narrow ledge that was available at Dinas Brân. The southern gate-tower is the best preserved part of the castle ruin, surviving with its original barrel-vault roof.
The aims of the archaeological excavation are to enable stonemasons to conserve the base of the gatehouse walls and to increase our understanding of the layout and detail of the gatehouse, including the sequence of defensive arrangements along the entrance passage, to find surviving floor levels and buried architectural features, and to investigate any evidence for occupation, destruction and later periods of activity.
A single long trench will be excavated along the south side of the entrance passage, with two smaller areas investigated at either end to look for gateway construction and doorway evidence. A small area will also be dug within the south tower to uncover the window opening, and establish the original floor level at the east end.
The work will be taking place at the castle until Wednesday 1st September 2021 (excluding the Bank Holiday weekend).