Ancient Monuments

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Camp north of Tonmawr

A Scheduled Monument in Margam, Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

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Latitude: 51.5696 / 51°34'10"N

Longitude: -3.6963 / 3°41'46"W

OS Eastings: 282532

OS Northings: 186999

OS Grid: SS825869

Mapcode National: GBR H7.D8ZF

Mapcode Global: VH5H2.WT83

Entry Name: Camp N of Tonmawr

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2239

Cadw Legacy ID: GM057

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Enclosure

Period: Prehistoric

County: Neath Port Talbot (Castell-nedd Port Talbot)

Community: Margam

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a earthwork enclosure probably dating to the prehistoric period. It consists of two polygonal enclosures, the smaller placed within the larger. They lie about 2km east-north-east of Margam Abbey, mostly on level ground at about 270m above OD, to the south-west of a stream flowing in a shallow ravine. The north-west portion of the outer enclosure lies on ground falling towards the steeper section of the ravine.

The inner enclosure is placed near the south side of the larger one and is trapezoidal in plan; its area is just over 0.4ha. It is defended by a bank with external ditch which in places has a counterscarp bank. The main bank is 6 to 9m wide and the ditch 4 to 6m wide; the counterscarp bank, which is absent round the angles of the enclosure, is very faint and varies between 2.5 and 7.5m in width. The overall extent of the defences ranges between 10 and 17m. The original entrance seems to be a gap about 9m wide in the broad north-east angle of the enclosure; from it a faint track descends a slight slope north-eastwards to the stream. A gap in the south defences has the appearance of an entrance but is probably a modern breach caused by a trackway that has also partly levelled the defences at a point on the west side. The interior of the enclosure shows no sign of structures.

The outer enclosure is roughly pentagonal, about 2.7ha in area. The north-east side is formed by the stream; the other sides have artificial defences similar to those of the inner enclosure. They are best preserved on the east and south-east, where the main bank is 6 to 8m wide, 0.6m high internally and 1.3m externally, separated by a ditch from a counterscarp bank 5 to 8m wide; the overall extent of the defences is 14 to 18m. On the south and west the defences are much ploughed down and the counterscarp bank is absent except at the south-west angle. The curving line of defences at the north-west end of the site is better preserved though for the most part the main rampart consists of a scarp rather than a bank; it is 2 to 4m wide and up to 1.5m high. Outside it is a well defined flat-bottomed ditch, 1.5 to 2m wide at the bottom and 5 to 6.5m wide at the top, with (along the northern portion) a counterscarp bank 4 to 5m wide and nearly a metre high.

The position of the entrance is uncertain. The most probable position would seem to be at the east angle where the bank terminates on a knoll 12m short of the edge of the ravine. A gap towards the east end of the south side might be an entrance but as in the case of the inner enclosure seems more likely to have been made by a trackway. Modern hedge-banks have broken through and partly destroyed the defences about the middle of the south and west sides.

Source: Cadw

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