Maiden Castle, Oxwich

Iron Age Hillfort

Maiden Castle, Oxwich is a small inland promontory fort located just north of Oxwich Point, overlooking Oxwich Bay and landings. The surrounding slopes are steep to the north and east, and moderate to strong to the south and west. The site is overgrown, making interpretation difficult, and the area and boundaries are uncertain to the north.

The outer defences of the fort enclose an area of approximately 0.6 hectares, while the inner defence encloses about 0.2 hectares, possibly representing two phases of construction. The fort is defined by a main outer rubble rampart on the eastern side, which increases in height to the southeast where another outer bank and ditch extend to the southwest quadrant. Along the southern side, the main rampart is earth rather than stone, and a ditch appears between the two banks. Here, the far outer bank loses its ditch and diverges from the main bank, eventually dying out to the north. On the western side, the main bank runs into a modern wall, after which vestiges of a bank curve north with the ditch used as a hollow track before dying out.

Inside the fort, and widely spaced from the outer defences, an inner rampart curves east-west for about 60 meters, with the western end reaching a height of 3 meters and featuring a part rock-cut ditch. There are no defences on the northern side of the fort. The entrance is possibly through the outer rampart on the western side where the bank meets the modern wall, with the banks inturned to form a passage about 9 meters long, but it is much damaged and overgrown. From here, the entrance to the inner enclosure is possibly to the west of the rampart and at the end of the cliff. There is a small oval hollow with an entrance on the western side inside the fort, which could be a possible guard chamber or small hut, but it could also be a result of quarrying or natural features. Minimal investigations have been conducted at the site, and the exact date of the fort remains undated.

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