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Dinas Mawr, Llanwnda, Promontory Fort

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Map ReferenceSM83NE
Grid ReferenceSM8880038690
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
PeriodIron Age
1. The ramparts at Dinas Mawr, Llanwnda, Pen-caer were once stone-walled and are pierced by central gateways, the inner lined with slabs. Although there are traces of at least one hut circle just inside the gate, most of Dinas Fawr comprises a towering pinnacle of rock, with little space for settlement. In instances like this, where much prehistoric effort was dedicated to defending a very restricted coastal promontory, it is hard not to wonder if there was some ritual or ceremonial use for the `fort' positioned in a `liminal' space between land and sea. Dinas Mawr resembles the Channel Island coastal site of La Pinnacle on Jersey, which was used for axe-making, settlement and ritual activities for thousands of years (RCAHMW, 96-cs-0594).

From: Driver, T. 2007. `Pembrokeshire, Historic Landscapes from the Air', RCAHMW, page 102, Figure 153.

2. Ground photo survey on 18th december 2007.
T. Driver, RCAHMW, 12 March 2008.

3. Field visit by T. Driver & L. Barker on 8th March 2016 revealed that the total interior enclosed by Dinas Mawr is quite extensive. An accessible grassy terrace on the south and south-east side of the promontory gives access to the 'back' of the fort on the south-west side, with views out across to the offshore stack of Ynys y Dinas. Here there are sheltered areas in the rock face and reasonably flat ground for settlement and activities. The usable area of the fort interior extends to its flat summit, accessed via crude rock cut steps (of uncertain age - these may be comparatively recent for coastal observation purposes) up from the promontory defences. The summit provides a further usable space, some 30m across, within the Iron Age fort.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 2016