Old Castle Promontory Fort, Rhossili

Iron Age Hillfort

Old Castle Promontory Fort in Rhossili comprises the remains of a defended enclosure that is believed to date back to the Iron Age period, roughly between 800 BC and AD 43. The fort is located on a narrow coastal promontory above the sea, which forms part of the defensive circuit. The construction of one or more ramparts across the neck of the promontory creates a division from the mainland.

Old Castle is situated on the cliffs west of Rhossili, approximately 50 meters above Ordnance Datum (OD). The northern side of the enclosure is formed by the cliff edge, which turns outward to create a blunt promontory with sides measuring about 90 meters to the northwest and 50 meters in other directions. The base of the promontory, which is about 100 meters long, forms the diameter of a rampart with a semicircular plan, enclosing an area of about 0.7 hectares. The best-preserved sections of the fort’s defenses are found on the eastern side for about 50 meters and on the southern side for about 30 meters. Here, the defenses consist of a bank with an external ditch that measures nearly 10 meters in width and 2 meters in height overall. Another short length of the defenses, now only 6 meters wide and less than 1 meter high but damaged, remains on the southwestern side. The entire site has been significantly disturbed by quarrying, making it difficult to identify any house platforms, and the exact location of the entrance is uncertain. However, it is believed to have been on the southwestern side, where there is a gap of nearly 20 meters.

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