Yellow Top, Paviland

Iron Age Hillfort

Yellow Top, Paviland is another small clifftop fort that is part of the defensive circuit along the coast between Worm’s Head and Port Eynon. It is located on a narrow coastal promontory above the sea and is characterized by four lines of defence. Slingstones, or stones used as projectiles, have been found at this site.

The fort occupies the top of a long narrow headland, with deep valleys on either side and a sheer cliff on the seaward side. The first line of defence consists of an impressive bank of rubbly limestone at the seaward end, with a natural depression outside of it. The entrance to the fort was likely at the eastern end of the bank, where there is a narrow gap between it and the cliff edge. Within this enclosure, there are six rough platforms that are interpreted as possible hut sites, indicating signs of habitation.

Further away from the sea edge, there are three additional lines of defence. The first is an unfinished rock-cut ditch, the second is a shallow ditch with a low bank inside it, and the third is the outermost line consisting of a larger bank of limestone rubble, with an external ditch. The entrance to the fort may have been at the northwest end of the outermost bank.

Yellow Top, Paviland likely dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC – AD 43) and is an example of a clifftop fortification with multiple lines of defence, indicating its strategic location and defensive capabilities.

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