Slwch Tump

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Slwch Tump
Slwch Tump - - 344523.jpg
This level bench in the hillside is the southern edge of Slwch Tump hillfort
Slwch Tump in Powys, Wales
Slwch Tump in Powys, Wales
Slwch Tump in Powys, Wales
Alternative namePen Cevn-y-Gaer
Coordinates51°56′46″N 3°22′29″W / 51.946059°N 3.37483°W / 51.946059; -3.37483
Typedefended enclosure[1]
Length187 m[1]
Width242 m[1]
PeriodsIron Age
Site notes
Public accessaccessible by public right of way[2]

Slwch Tump, also known as Slwch Camp and formerly known as Pen Cevn-y-Gaer,[3] is an Iron Age hillfort close to Brecon in Powys, Wales.


The enclosure is located on a hill composed of sandstones of the St Maughans Formation[4] with an elevation of 807 ft (246 m), about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) east of the confluence of the Rivers Usk and Honddu in the centre of Brecon.[1] The hillfort can be accessed by a public footpath which joins Slwch Lane north of the site and loops around the rampart.[2]


The hillfort is smaller than the one on nearby Pen-y-crug[3] and is irregular but roughly rectangular in shape, measuring about 187 m by 242 m, with a single encircling rampart.[1] Samuel Lewis described it in 1845 as "defended by a double fosse, which is in some places nearly destroyed".[3] Its entrance is on the north-west side, towards Brecon.[1]

Today its form is somewhat obscured by hedges and trees.[2] Within the hillfort area there are remains of abandoned quarries for building stone.[5]

St Eluned[edit]

A small church stood for some time at Slwch Tump, marking the place where Saint Eluned was supposedly beheaded. Eluned was one of the daughters of the 5th-century King Brychan of Brycheiniog and, as a Christian, she refused a pagan prince's marriage proposal and fled from him. At Slwch Tump, the local lord permitted her to build herself a cell, where she lived until her spurned suitor found her. As she ran from him, he cut off her head with his sword. A spring of water appeared and her cell became a small church, which remained on the site, latterly in a ruinous state, until 1698.[6] Before the Reformation, the spring was associated with healing and other miracles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f J.Wiles (24 July 2002). "Slwch Camp; Slwch Tump; Ginger Wall". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Iron Age". Fforest Fawr Geopark. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Samuel Lewis (1845). A topographical dictionary of Wales,: comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, chapelaries, and townships, with historical and statistical descriptions: embellished with engravings of the arms of the bishoprics, and of the arms and seals of the various cities and municipal corporations: and illustrated by maps of the different counties. S. Lewis. p. 421. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Brecon". Fforest Fawr Geopark. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Historic Landscape Characterisation - Middle Usk Valley - Brecon and Llanddew communities, Powys". Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  6. ^ David Hugh Farmer (23 September 2004). The Oxford Dictionary Of Saints. Oxford University Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-19-860949-0. Retrieved 17 November 2012.