EXARC Members Archaeological (Open-Air) Museums

Pentref Oes Haearn Castell Henllys (UK)

Member of EXARC since

Castell Henllys Iron Age Village is an established visitor centre and heritage site near Newport in North Pembrokeshire where the experience promises to take the visitor back in time and immerse the senses in Iron Age life. It is the only reconstructed Iron Age village in the UK where the roundhouses and granary have been built on the site of the original post holes. The hill-fort has also become one of the most prominent images of Welsh prehistory.

Open from

Castell Henllys is one of the most extensively excavated and studied Iron Age hill fort in the UK and has contributed significantly to the understanding of Iron Age society in West Wales. The excavation of the site was undertaken over a period of 26 years by Harold Mytum, University of York (now University of Liverpool).

Castell Henllys began its life as a heritage and visitor attraction in 1980, when the site was bought by the entrepreneur Hugh Foster, one of the co-founders of the London Dungeon. Under Hugh Foster the first re-constructed houses were built using archaeological and ethnographical evidence coupled with the principles of mechanics. 
In the 1991 Hugh Foster sadly passed away and the site came under the ownership and management of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The park utilises the site to help people to understand and enjoy the rich natural and cultural heritage of the National Park and highlight the special qualities of its character and traditions through the interpretation of Castell Henllys to visitors, students and school children.

Castell Henllys has an established and a highly successful school’s programme. The education programme guarantees a hands-on learning experience in the Iron Age where the children learn about the hillfort and the daily lives of its occupants by participating in activities and listening to stories. The activities on offer to the schools include grinding grain, making bread, basket making, wattle and daubing, weaving and ‘warrior-training’ where they get their face painted with ‘woad’. 

Although the roundhouses are the main attraction, Castell Henllys is also home to a Visitor Centre, which includes a shop and café and interactive exhibitions. The site also includes a children’s play area, a barefoot trail, a replica of the Holgar Bronze Age boat and prehistoric breeds of livestock. Dogs are welcome on site as long as they are on a lead.

Please see our website for the events we hold throughout the year.

Annual Number of Visitors

52.0207, -4.7331