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Garn Goch CIC

Fact Two: Even the expert on Welsh Iron Age forts wasn’t at all convinced.

Almost 50 years ago the then expert on Welsh Iron Age hillforts - AHA Hogg – wrote a short report right at the end of his long career – a mere 11 pages when the previous article ran to 30 pages and the next one on just one gate of one Roman fort ran to 24 pages.

No excavation or anything like that. Rather what he admitted were ‘only rough descriptions’.

And you might ask why hadn’t he reported on Garn Goch sooner as it is arguably the largest Iron Age hillfort in south Wales? When you read his report you soon see why.

He – the undisputed Welsh Iron Age hillfort expert – said he found Garn Goch ‘puzzling’.

He found it ‘anomalous’. 

He said key features were ‘impossible to prove’. 

He admitted he didn’t know if one feature was Neolithic – 6,000 years old – or medieval – 600 years old.

He confirmed that a postern – narrow entrance – showed no evidence of once having defensive features.

He described the four wide entrances without explaining why it had them when forts have at most 2 narrow entrances.

He claimed there was a round house by the pool in the centre of the site, but failed to notice that it is clearly oval not round, and is situated a metre or so below the level of the pool.

He said the main ‘fort’ and the little ‘fort’ were contemporaneous – but not used at the same time.

He said 4 metre long, 0.8 metre high mounds were possibly ‘intended to encourage the growth of rabbits’. Build a massive stone fort, then start a rabbit farm in the middle of it?

Now, since 1974 all the experts have chosen selective blindness. They’ve taken the bits of description consistent with Garn Goch being an Iron Age fort – and totally ignored Hogg’s own massive doubts about that interpretation.

Before the 50th anniversary in 2024, do we deserve a newer and better report on Garn Goch?

But if Garn Goch isn’t much like an Iron Age hillfort, and the expert wasn’t convinced about it, what does it actually resemble?

Fact Three. Garn Goch more closely matches much earlier religious (not military) constructions.

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