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Garn Goch Hill Fort

Visited April 2017

Location Near Bethlehem, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby No 
Parking Yes 
Facilities None


Garn Goch is an Iron Age fort, dating back some 2500 years. As such it is one of the oldest sites we have featured on this website (see also Maiden Castle). It is hard to imagine that this remote spot on the Brecon Beacons was once a large fortified settlement, with defensive banks and stone ramparts. 






There are two hillforts making up the site at Garn Goch. The smaller of the two is Y Gaer Fach, this is the one you will reach first as you walk up the path from the car park. Looming above is its big brother, Y Gaer Fawr. To take in both forts is about a 40 minute walk each way, although going back can be quicker as it is down hill. 


The smaller fort was built later and appeared to have been abandoned before completion. The larger fort seemed to be the main area of occupation, with six entrances to the site. It is not known if this was a permanent settlement lived in all year round, or an area of safety which local tribes could retreat to in case of invasion. 






The site seemed to have been in use up until about 70 AD when the Romans arrived in the area and conquered the native tribes and brought them under the rule of Rome. Although the fort would have been well sited to see any invaders coming in advance of their arrival, a few hundred inhabitants in a fort with primitive weapons would have been no match for the Roman army. 





The route up to the forts are not too steep and would be quite easy for children 5+. It would be perhaps more difficult for younger children or those in buggies because of the terrain. The final ascent over the rubble rampart is quite steep and children will need watching near the edge. It is worth the effort though as the views on all sides are fantastic. Pick a fine day to visit though as there is no shelter up in the hills. There are also no facilities at all nearby so take your own food and use the loo before you go. We combined it with a trip to Carreg Cennen Castle which is nearby. If you go to the castle first, you can get a meal in their cafe and use the toilets before heading up to the hillfort.


The memorial stone you pass after leaving the car park is for Welsh politician Gwynfor Evans, who was MP for Carmarthenshire for many years.




More info:  Garn Goch Hill Fort

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