Ancient Monuments

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Dale Point Promontory Fort (Defences)

A Scheduled Monument in Dale, Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 51.7031 / 51°42'11"N

Longitude: -5.1534 / 5°9'12"W

OS Eastings: 182201

OS Northings: 205197

OS Grid: SM822051

Mapcode National: GBR G3.HYBD

Mapcode Global: VH1RW.MGF7

Entry Name: Dale Point Promontory Fort (Defences)

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1959

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3072

Cadw Legacy ID: PE322

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Promontory Fort - coastal

Period: Prehistoric

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Dale

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument comprises the remains of a defended enclosure, which dates to the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age periods (c. 1200 BC - AD 43) and which is located on a east facing promontory that projects into Milford Haven, the coastal waters marking part of the defensive circuit. There is a single rampart across the narrowest point of the promontory that served to enclose an area of c 320 m east to west by 120m north to south. The rampart comprises a bank, ditch and counterscarp and is c 90m long with the bank standing to c 2m above the interior and 3m above the ditch; the counterscarp is c. 0.4m high. The entrance through the defence is towards the south end. Archaeological excavations around the entrance area up to about 1975 produced rich occupation evidence of later prehistoric and Romano-British date on level ground immediately behind the ramparts. Sections across the ramparts in the same area undertaken in the 1980’s clarified the defensive sequence, fixed by radio-carbon dating, as palisades, banks and a stone revetment. These were sealed by an occupation horizon that produced Late Bronze Age dates of about 780-810BC. Overlaying the occupation horizon was the existing rampart, shown to be of Murus Duplex type: that is composed of dry stone walls containing multiple internal revetments; the rampart being contemporary with the later occupation evidence. Two limited archaeological excavations within the interior of the fort in 1991 and 2005 produced evidence respectively of a rectangular emplacement and trackway and a 12m diameter roundhouse.

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. It excludes the eastern areas of the promontory occupied by a coastal defence artillery fort, constructed 1853-7, which is scheduled separately.

Source: Cadw

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