Unique among hillforts in North Wales, Caer Drewyn is notable for the remains of a massive stone wall which originally enclosed an area of nearly 7 hectares. At nearly 1000 feet, it’s an effort to climb, but the rewards are evident in the commanding views of the surrounding area. The Dee winds its way through the valley towards Llangollen, the Berwyns are majestic to the south and Corwen lies nestled in the valley below. Indeed, the site is likely one of the foremost reasons for its building, since it clearly commands what would have been a vital route way, through the Vales of Llangollen and Clwyd, policing the movement of peoples and trade.
The remains of Caer Drewyn's massive stone walls are clear evidence of its once great strength, power and status.
Originally, it is thought the wall would have sat upon earth embankments, which are still visible, with the stone having collapsed over time. Nearly 10000 cubic meters of stone remain, and in picking your way through the walls to the enclosure within, you get a strong sense of the immense undertaking that went into the building of the fort. It is easy to believe that the peoples that lived during the Iron Age were primitive, but to walk amongst the ruins of Caer Drewyn is to have these notions dispelled, since the organisation required to build such an impressive settlement must have been quite astonishing.
There are the ghost of roundhouse platforms still visible amongst the bracken if you look carefully, indeed if you can tear your eyes away from the view. The remains of the entrance way makes clear how daunting a prospect it must have been to attempt to come to Caer Drewyn with ill intent.
The placing of Caer Drewyn overlooking the intersection between the Vales of Llangollen and Clwyd was likely intentional
I climbed the caer on an autumn morning, and looking out over the Berwyns and into Conway County, I remembered a snippit of John Clare's, 'I am'.
'Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below - above the vaulted sky.'
To visit, enter Corwen and turn off the road in the Town centre by the Owain Glyndwr monument. Follow the road over the bridge heading towards the leisure centre. Park up at the centre and walk along the Carrog road a little before making a sharp left up a narrow track. Be aware, that the climb is steep, but worth every step.