Above Pont Garreg Hylldrem, where the road from Llanfrothen turns a leftwards right angle towards Beddgelert, there’s an overhanging cliff popular with climbers. It was popular with stone age hunters too, not for climbing but for the welcome shelter of the overhang on a platform about ten metres up from the sea or estuary below.
Subsequent excavation, under the supervision of Bangor University, has uncovered several hearths and many shells: oysters, cockles and winkles as well as limpets. Mixed in were pieces of bone, probably deer, and so far 42 pieces of worked flint. Three limpets from different parts of the site have been carbon dated as being from 7379, 9281 and 9349 years ago.
Dr Gary Robinson, lecturer in archaeology at Bangor, describes the site as a hunting camp used on a regular basis for a few days at a time before returning to the home base. ‘It might have been for three or four hunters out on an expedition, maybe pursuing deer or spawning salmon on their way upstream. ‘
Towards the end of the dig, in April 2012, a flint arrowhead was discovered, probably dating back to the bronze age. If that's the case, then this rock shelter was used for 5000 years.