Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tooth Cave, Llethrid

A Scheduled Monument in Ilston (Llanddinol), Swansea (Abertawe)

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Latitude: 51.5979 / 51°35'52"N

Longitude: -4.1213 / 4°7'16"W

OS Eastings: 253168

OS Northings: 190921

OS Grid: SS531909

Mapcode National: GBR GT.Z706

Mapcode Global: VH4KD.J32B

Entry Name: Tooth Cave, Llethrid

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1961

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3743

Cadw Legacy ID: GM284

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Cave

Period: Prehistoric

County: Swansea (Abertawe)

Community: Ilston (Llanddinol)

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of a cave containing archaeological deposits that can date from as early as the Palaeolithic period. A cave may have been used for occupation, storage, burial, refuse, or as a temporary shelter.

Tooth Cave is located on the eastern side of the valley that is to the south of Llethrid. The present west facing entrance is approximately 4m above the valley floor at the base of a 5m high limestone quarry face. The cave is 1.4m high, 2m wide and 5m long. In the 1960s the glacial blocking at the inner end of the entrance passage was penetrated, revealing a further passage measuring 5.0m long, which led to a previously undiscovered cave system. The first chamber is reached by a 3m drop from the entrance passage and measures 9m in height, 6m in width and is 10m long. Excavations uncovered the remains of eight individuals. Finds included stone and flint tools, flint flakes and Bronze Age pottery.

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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