Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Little Hoyle Cave and Longbury Bank Dark Age Site

A Scheduled Monument in Penally (Penalun), Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

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Latitude: 51.6663 / 51°39'58"N

Longitude: -4.7321 / 4°43'55"W

OS Eastings: 211152

OS Northings: 199922

OS Grid: SS111999

Mapcode National: GBR GD.S1R9

Mapcode Global: VH2PR.XCNZ

Entry Name: Little Hoyle Cave and Longbury Bank Dark Age Site

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 692

Cadw Legacy ID: PE428

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Cave

Period: Prehistoric

County: Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)

Community: Penally (Penalun)

Built-Up Area: Penally

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire


The monument consists of a cave containing archaeological deposits that can date from as early as the Palaeolithic period and an Early Medieval settlement. A cave may have been used for occupation, storage, burial, refuse, or as a temporary shelter. Little Hoyle Cave is a small complex cave set within a limestone ridge known as ‘Longbury Bank’. There are 3 entrances to the cave on the northern ridge. The southern entrance is blocked. Excavations were undertaken in the mid 19th century, the late 1950s and early 1960s and in the mid 1980s. Prehistoric artefacts from the excavations are rare, however, 3 are Upper Palaeolithic and a least one is from the Later Upper Palaeolithic. The assemblage also includes important faunal remains. Radiocarbon dating has recorded a mean range of 20,800-17,050 BP. Other finds are of Neolithic, Roman and Early Medieval date. The important Early Medieval assemblage including ceramics and glass indicate an important settlement extending along the ridge of Longbury Bank.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric settlement, ritual and funerary practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. 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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