Whilst the earliest evidence of human occupation dates to between 4000 and 3000 BC, it is likely that Snowdonia was exploited soon after the last ice age. Evidence of the region’s prehistoric past is characterised by traces of field systems, settlements and monuments situated in the landscape. Moreover, these features are likely to date to the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age.
Bryn Cader Faner (© SNPA)
Bryn y Castell (© SNPA)
Unlike other parts of Britain, Snowdonia is fortunate enough to have retained extensive traces of prehistoric field systems. Its upland typically includes irregular enclosures with small loosely defined hut circles, whilst the lowlands contain substantial boundaries with formal groups of huts and field systems. These settlements also appear to follow the typical pattern seen in North West Wales, including a cluster of hut circles with small enclosures. In addition, some of the more developed settlements follow a polygonal shape with one of more rectangular buildings. Investigations from the air have revealed that prehistoric crop marks remain in the landscape. Other distinct features include circular enclosures, hillforts and Neolithic and Bronze Age burial chambers.