Drawing Dinas Dinlle: Caernarfon, Gwynedd

Based on three years of excavations at Dinas Dinlle – carried out by archaeologists from Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, CHERISH, the National Trust, and Cadw (see CA 356 and 394) – new reconstruction drawings by Wessex Archaeology are bringing the site to life once more. They show what the hillfort and its surrounding landscape once looked like, helping to preserve its memory before more of it falls into the sea – 40m of the cliffs have already been lost in the last century.

The main image depicts the hillfort during the Romano-British period, c.AD 150, before the western edge of the site eroded away. The footprint of the buildings, roads, and yards within the inner wall of the fort is based on both excavated evidence and a ground-penetrating radar survey of the site. The area outside the fort shows the original Roman-period coastline and an estuarine inlet; evidence for both were found during a programme of coring and landscape reconstruction by Aberystwyth University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. The inset image represents life inside one of the main roundhouses excavated on the site, which, at 13m wide, is one of the largest such structures ever discovered in Wales.

Commenting on the project, National Trust Archaeologist Kathy Laws said, ‘We’re so happy that, through the CHERISH project, the fascinating stories of these special places have been unearthed and brought to life. The illustrations will be included on site next to the excavated remains at Dinas Dinlle, helping visitors connect to its rich past.’

Text: K Krakowka / Images: © Crown: CHERISH PROJECT 2022. Produced with EU funds through the Ireland Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2023. All material made freely available through the Open Government Licence. Artwork by Wessex Archaeology.