Thurba Head

Iron Age Hillfort

Thurba Head is the site of a defended enclosure that is believed to date back to the Iron Age period, around 800 BC to AD 43. It is located on a narrow coastal promontory above the sea, forming part of the defensive circuit. The promontory is separated from the mainland by one or more ramparts that are constructed across the neck of the promontory.

The stretch of rocky coast between Worms Head and Port Eynon Point is known for having several small defended homesteads perched on top of the cliffs, and Thurba Head is one of them. Despite the seemingly unpromising location, there are clear signs of occupation at Thurba Head. 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 northwest side, while the east side has a rubbly bank with a faint outer ditch. Behind this lies the main rampart, which consists of a more substantial bank and ditch. Within this main rampart, there is a robbed wall along the edge of the summit plateau, which may represent an earlier phase of the site. There is also a stretch of walling that blocks a possible entrance from the south, completing the defences.

However, the remains on the south side of the promontory are obscured by quarrying and an old limekiln, making it difficult to ascertain the exact nature of any remains in that area. Nevertheless, the defensive features of Thurba Head, including the multiple ramparts, suggest that it was an important site in the Iron Age, likely serving as a defended settlement or homestead for the inhabitants of the area during that period.

Sites near Thurba Head