Castell Dinas Brân Ruins - HDR
Part of the ruined castle near Llangollen, Wales.
The first building placed at Dinas Brân was not the castle which now stands in ruins on top of the hill but an Iron Age hillfort built around 600 BC. An earthen rampart was constructed probably topped by a wooden palisade and this was further protected by a deep ditch on the shallower southern slope. The walls of the hill fort encircled a village of roundhouses. Dinas Brân is one of many hill forts in this part of Wales; Moel y Gaer is just a couple of miles to the north-west near the Horseshoe Pass, and another is close by at Y Gardden in Ruabon to the east. There are many others on the Clwydian Hills further to the north and in the Marches to the south.
Dinas Brân is in what was once the ancient Kingdom of Powys. The last Prince of Powys Gruffydd Maelor died in 1191 and the kingdom was divided into Powys Fadog in the north and Powys Wenwynwyn in the south. His son, Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor was lord of Powys Fadog and founded the nearby Valle Crucis Abbey. Although no archaeological evidence has been found some records suggest he ruled from Dinas Brân. If a structure did exist it would have been a wooden fortification probably consisting of a wooden palisade surrounding a hall and other buildings. These early records further say it was destroyed by fire and then the new castle was built on the same site, therefore little prospect for finding any archaeological evidence of the early building remains. An even earlier structure has been suggested, belonging to Elisedd ap Gwylog from the 8th century (Died 973). It was this Elisedd who was responsible for the Pillar of Eliseg and is one of the founders of the kingdom of Powys, but again no physical evidence for any structure at Dinas Brân has been found.
This is an HDR image made from 5 exposures (-2 to +2) processed in Photomatix.