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CIL IFOR TOP PROMONTORY FORT;CILIFOR TOP PROMONTORY FORT OR HILLFORT

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 301311

Map Reference SS59SW

Grid Reference SS50589234

Unitary (Local) Authority Swansea

Old County Glamorgan

Community Llanrhidian Lower

Type of Site HILLFORT, PROMONTORY FORT

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Iron Age

Site Description 1. This strongly defended hillfort occupies the summit of an isolated ridge running NW to SE and rising nearly to 120m above OD. On the NE the ground falls very steeply to the flat-bottomed valley of a small stream and on the NW to the edge of the salt marshes which start about a quarter of a mile from the fort and now extend for about a mile even at high tide. Round the SW side the slope decreases and on the south the ridge is connected to an irregular plateau at rather over 90m by a slightly lower col. The site commands an extensive view, particularly over the estuary to the north. The enclosure follows the outline of the ridge and is roughly oblong with rounded ends, measuring about 320m NW to SE by 110m, the area being 2.9 ha. A small ringwork inserted at the SE end measures about 40m E to W by 30m, enclosing nearly 0.1ha. Defences sectioned close to the S corner by W. Ll. Morgan in 1910.

Paraphrased from definitive account and plan in RCAHMW 1976. An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan, Volume 1: Pre Norman, Part II, The Iron Age and Roman Occupation. Cardiff: HMSO. p. 36, Fig. 15 and Plate 4.

2. Royal Commission aerial reconnaissance on 17th July 2018, during the 2018 drought, recorded Cil Ifor Top hillfort under extensive parching. Good external ditches and additional details of the lower SE defences were recorded, as well as a good parchmark of the outer ditch of the ringwork and some sundry pits and ditches across the hillfort interior together with geological features. The biggest surprise however was a previously unrecorded substantial defensive ditch cutting across the south-western hillfort interior from the line of the SW defences northwards for a distance, before angling west so as to enclose the portion of the hillfort interior accessed by the main western gate passage. Whether this is a pre-hillfort, or post-hillfort, defensive enclosure or annexe cannot be assessed from the parchmark evidence alone.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, Oct 2019.

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