Harding's Down West Camp

Iron Age Hillfort

The contour hillfort on Harding’s Down is located on a spur at the western end of an isolated hill on the Gower Peninsula. It is the best-known and excavated site among the cluster of sites on Harding’s Down. The site is characterized by moderate to strong surrounding slopes to the north, south, and east, and steep slopes to the west. The site has a sub-oval shape, measuring approximately 110m by 75m, with an internal area of 0.6 hectares.

The hillfort is defined by a substantial rubble bank with a dry-stone revetment on the outside, along with a ditch and counterscarp. To the southeast, there are two outer stretches of bank and ditch that form another partial enclosure. A line of outer ditch is continued by a slighter, possibly later bank, with an internal ditch. These additional banks and ditches to the northwest of the main enclosure may have served as agricultural enclosures, possibly linking with modern field boundaries.

The ramparts of the hillfort are widely-spaced. There are three circular features in the interior of the site, two of which were excavated in 1962. One of the features was found to be cobbled with stone-lined sides and four post gates, indicating a probable entrance that faced downhill, similar to the entrance at the northern camp. The site is in fair condition and is currently used as upland pasture.

The hillfort on Harding’s Down, along with two other hillforts in the area, are scheduled together as GM060. The site is also depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map from 1879, but its exact date and purpose remain undated and subject to further research and investigation.

Sites near Harding's Down West Camp