Ancient Monuments

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Thurba Camp

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

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Latitude: 51.5603 / 51°33'37"N

Longitude: -4.2782 / 4°16'41"W

OS Eastings: 242175

OS Northings: 187067

OS Grid: SS421870

Mapcode National: GBR GQ.NFLC

Mapcode Global: VH3N1.S1NN

Entry Name: Thurba Camp

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1964

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3646

Cadw Legacy ID: GM127

Schedule Class: Defence

Category: Promontory Fort - coastal

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Rhossili (Rhosili)

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 stretch of rocky coast between Worms Head and Port Eynon Point is particularly rich in these small defended homesteads, perched precariously on top of the cliffs. There are five in all and Thurba is typical of them. This narrow rocky headland appears an unpromising place to live, but there are definite signs of occupation. First, the headland is defended on its landward side by several stretches of bank and ditch. The outermost rampart is reduced to a scarp on the north-west side, and a rubbly bank with a faint outer ditch on the east. The main rampart lies behind this, and consists of a more substantial bank and ditch. Within this is a robbed wall along the edge of the summit of the plateau which may represent an earlier phase of the site. A further stretch of walling, blocking a possible way in from the south, completes the defences. Any remains on there might be on the south side are obscured by quarrying and an old limekiln.

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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