Kernave Mound IV
Also called Crew Hill, Castle Hill, Piliaviete
Kernave Mound IV is also called Crew Hill by the old people. The mound is situated very close to the main Kernave Castle Hill. During the great times it served as a defensive outer bailey of the fortress. It is also called Castle Hill and Piliaviete by the old people. Who knows, maybe some wooden castle also stood on this outer bailey in the old days…
But, as the old people remember, this place was mainly dominated by merchants, craftsmen and town people, who lived here. It is likely that the local community of craftsmen was the largest of all communities. You could often see smoke rising to the sky, sparks flying from blacksmith’s workshops, and people with smoke-smudged cheeks or potters waving their dirty hands covered with clay thus sending greetings to someone.
Wooden farm buildings that housed various workshops stood in the outer bailey. Contemporary goldsmiths worked in one of them. They made various beautiful pieces of jewellery, that were used not only by the local Dukes, but also were sold by the goldsmiths to the people from other countries who paid them good money! Brass brooches, rings, articles made of bone, silver coated cross, which are the witnesses of this fact, were unearthed by someone from the old turf in the recent past. Even a glass bead was found! But there are not records witnessing that glaziers worked and had their workshops in our country in those days. Who knows, maybe the bead was brought here from the other places, or maybe it was lost by accident by some great person who had acquired the bead during his trip in the other countries.
There was also a forge on the hill. Plenty of slag formations were found here! Probably, the old blacksmiths were very busy: they forged hot iron not only for the household needs, but also probably to meet the war needs. There was a workshop of potters in another building. They often worked outdoor when the sky was cloudless and the weather was warm. It is not surprising that they loved to work outdoors because the surroundings of Kernave then, as today, were characterised by an exclusive beauty.
It is believed that in the 14th century an arc-shaped dyke served as fortification of the outer bailey. But even such an advanced defense was helpless against the enemy: the wooden farm buildings that stood in the outer bailey were burned down in 1365.
This important and beautiful hill was not abandoned in later times: a manor and the buildings of presbytery stood in the outer bailey in the 15th-20th centuries.
The old structures that formerly stood on Crew Hill have not survived into the present, and, unlike in the medieval ages, today the place is dominated by silence. But the complex of mounds overlooks a picturesque panorama of the surroundings.
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