This site is now open to view or visit.
In line with Welsh Government advice and guidance, we have started to reopen a selection of our unstaffed heritage sites in a safe and controlled way — for the benefit of local communities.
We are pleased to announce that this monument is now open and is free to view or visit with no pre-booking required. Please adhere to our new visitation guidelines, act responsibly and be respectful towards the site and its local area at all times.
Site opening times, parking and other available facilities at our reopened sites may have changed. Please check this site’s webpage carefully for specific updates.
For further information on what to expect and how to stay safe during your visit, please read our FAQs page.
Who lived here?
Hillforts constructed by native Britons, or ‘Celts’, in the Iron Age before the coming of the Romans are thick on the ground in Wales. We don’t know for certain who exactly occupied this site high above the Bristol Channel. Llanmelin may well have been home to inhabitants who moved down to nearby Caerwent, established in around AD 75–80. Venta Silurum (Caerwent) was the ‘market town of the Silures’, a native tribe who became Romanised following the conquest of Britain. It may be no coincidence that Llanmelin seems to have been abandoned in around AD 75.
Excavations have revealed that its inhabitants lived in circular houses made of timber and mud, kept cows, sheep and pigs, used pottery, smelted copper and carved antlers from red deer. Surviving earthworks point to a settlement with three distinct features: a main camp, an adjacent annexe (a series of rectangular enclosures) and an outpost in woodland 275 yards/250m away.