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Horse Cliff Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Rhossili (Rhosili), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5515 / 51°33'5"N

Longitude: -4.2585 / 4°15'30"W

OS Eastings: 243508

OS Northings: 186042

OS Grid: SS435860

Mapcode National: GBR GR.50SJ

Mapcode Global: VH3N2.48KG

Entry Name: Horse Cliff Camp

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1950

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4371

Cadw Legacy ID: GM192

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Promontory Fort - coastal

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Rhossili (Rhosili)

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Description

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 promontory is aligned east-west; the north side falls steeply to a bay, while the west and south sides are formed by sheer and indeed spectacular cliffs 60m high. The defended area is 65m long and varies in width from 18m to about 40m enclosing about 0.4ha. The defences consist of a single grass-grown bank of limestone rubble, running in a curve convex to the east, fronted on the landward side by a ditch. The bank is 5.5-6.5m wide, 0.5m high internally and nearly 2m externally; its inner scarp has a stepped appearance, perhaps the remains of a rampart walk though a similar feature at the Knave (Gm 128) is almost certainly due to stone-robbing. On the north the bank is eroded, though enough remains to allow its curve to be traced right to the cliff edge. On the south it ends abruptly 5m short of the edge, the gap clearly indicating that it was the entrance. The termination is inturned and there is a suggestion of a guard-chamber within the turn.

The ditch is only preserved at the south end, where it seems to have been fairly wide (5m) and shallow. Elsewhere it is destroyed by quarry hollows. There are no signs of structures in the interior.

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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