Ancient Monuments

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Caswell Cliff Fort

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopston (Llandeilo Ferwallt), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5693 / 51°34'9"N

Longitude: -4.0387 / 4°2'19"W

OS Eastings: 258798

OS Northings: 187573

OS Grid: SS587875

Mapcode National: GBR GW.GYKY

Mapcode Global: VH4KF.YT7B

Entry Name: Caswell Cliff Fort

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1964

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3649

Cadw Legacy ID: GM132

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Promontory Fort - coastal

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Bishopston (Llandeilo Ferwallt)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument comprises the remains of a defended enclosure, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 43). The enclosure is located on a narrow coastal promontory above the sea that marks part of the defensive circuit. The construction of one or more ramparts placed across the neck of the promontory divide it from the mainland.

The outermost defence coincides with a modern field wall, built at the centre of a V-shaped ditch, which is distinguishable for a length of 20m, with a width of 5.2m and a depth of up to 2m. The bank at its east side is scarcely visible, but undoubtedly did exist. The inner defence has a similar ditch, the bank being better preserved and measuring up to 4.5m wide and 0.6m high. It can be traced for a distance of about 50m across the promontory. At the south end it continues over the brow of the slope to end in an outcrop. At the north it ends at a crag forming a natural defence on the north-west side of the area between the two banks.

The interior of the defended promontory is irregularly broken up by outcrops, but presents an inhabitable area of about 0.2ha, measuring about 55m east-west by 30m, in which, however, no certain traces of huts can be made out.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of later prehistoric defensive organisation and settlement. The site forms an important element within the wider later prehistoric context and within the surrounding landscape. The site is well preserved and retains considerable archaeological potential. There is a strong probability of the presence of evidence relating to chronology, layout, building techniques and functional detail.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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