Holidays in West Wales
Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort
For a chance to step back in time and experience a prehistoric adventure for the whole family, take a trip over to the North of Pembrokeshire’s magnificent Preseli Hills to visit the Iron Age Fort of Castell Henllys. Set within 26 acres of woodland on excavated remains from over 2000 years ago, Castell Henllys is described as the most authentic Iron Age reconstruction in Britain and today offers a unique opportunity for visitors to Pembrokeshire to live like a Celt for the day, leaving their modern day technologies behind.
Run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Castell Henllys is a hive of activity entertaining and educating individuals, couples and families of every age through events and guided tours. The grounds comprise of three large replica roundhouses, a granary and a forge, all carefully reconstructed within the settlement’s original defences. According to archaeological experts, hill forts are the most prominent remains of the Iron Age with the greatest number evident in West Wales. The exact size and location of the roundhouses at Castell Henllys are known from the remains of circular ditches and the central column on which the roofs were supported determined by original post holes. Roundhouse construction here mimics that of 400BC, using wattle and daub to create the walls, ideal for keeping the heat in and the strong winds out.
Fascinating activities at Castell Henllys are available all year round, however the most popular time to make the most of your trip as a family or with friends is in the Summer to coincide with one of their Prehistoric Extravaganza Days. Here you can learn how to make tools such as arrowheads, spearheads or hand axes and watch demonstrations of weaponry & warfare, woodturning and metalworking. You can even undergo Warrior Training or indulge in a typical Celtic Feast if you happen to be around at the right time.
On a usual day at Castell Henllys, you will learn about the typical challenges of Iron Age life, how the Celts managed their resources and made effective use of various materials. You’ll have the opportunity to grind flour and make bread using the same methods as the Celts, be mesmerised by storytellers and practise basket weaving techniques. There’s also the chance to watch the BBC’s production ‘Surviving the Iron Age’ (using Castell Henllys as location) from the on-site Education Centre. And to immerse yourself completely into the habitat of a Celtic Warrior all those years ago, relax and chat around one of the roundhouse’s communal fires whilst you slowly take it all in.
The grounds surrounding Castell Henllys are also a beautiful place to relax. Whilst the kids are engrossed in their Iron Age lives, grasp the opportunity to stroll down to the small river at the lower end of the fort to enjoy the leafy surroundings and clean fresh air. It’s a perfect place to take a picnic and there is a shop selling local, organic and recycled products as well as books and snacks.
With recent reviews on Trip Advisor describing Castell Henllys as ‘a fascinating 2 hours’, ‘a great family day out’ and ‘one of the highlights of our tour around Wales’, you’d be mad not to drop by and decide for yourself. Perhaps you’re taking a short break in Pembrokeshire and enjoying the comforts of your chosen holiday home whilst you’re here. Do sample an Iron Age home too, a true example of self-catering accommodation with a significant difference! http://www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/default.asp?PID=261