A Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales

Southwest Wales – Later Prehistoric, key sites




Settlements - main sites


Caer Cadwgan

Partial excavation of a small hillfort. Artefacts include: Glass and amber beads, metalworking (crucibles, slag, mould), spindle whorl. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; pollen; soil studies; animal bone.

Austin, Bell, Burnham and Young 1987, 1984-88; Davies 1994                   

(Collection: University of Wales, Lampeter?)


Castell Henllys

Full excavation of a small hillfort and annexe. Important material culture assemblage: pottery, diagnostic metal artefacts (including iron involuted and penannular brooches, flesh hook, spearheads, knives, sickle, bronze tankard handle), metalworking, amber bead. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; animal bone; charcoal.

Mytum 1985, 1986a, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1999, unpublished                                             

(Collection: NMGW 2000.45H; University of York)


Coygan Camp

Partial excavation of a small hillfort. Large and important material culture assemblage (IA & RB): pottery, diagnostic metal artefacts (including a pair of La Tene bracelets (350-250 BC) possibly associated with a burial, a La Tene decorated perforated pendant and large ironwork assemblage), bone and antler artefacts, glass beads. Environmental evidence: animal bone.

Wainwright 1967; Savory 1976b; Guido 1978; Williams 1978

(Collection: NMGW 67.514)


Llawhaden group of small defended enclosures

Complete excavation of Woodside Camp, Dan-y-Coed Enclosure and Drim Camp and the partial excavation of Broadway Enclosure, Holgan Camp, Pilcornswell Camp and Bodringallt Enclosure. Artefacts include: pottery (LIA & RB), glass bead (Guido Group 6), decorated spindle whorls, and a Bronze Age trunnion tool redeposited in ramparts at Broadway. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; charcoal; soil studies.

Williams and Mytum 1998

(Collection: Scoulton Manor)



Complete excavation of a small defended enclosure/farmstead. Finds include: pottery, beehive querns, glass beads (Guido Class 3 & 8 LIA/ERB). Radiocarbon dates. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; insects.

Murphy 1985

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum)


Porth y Rhaw

Partial excavation of a coastal promontory fort. Finds include: Late Bronze Age socketed axe fragment, metalworking (crucible), iron brooch pins, glass and amber beads, charred plant remains. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; pollen.

Crane forthcoming; Murphy 2002

(Collection: Cambria Archaeology)


Walesland Rath

Complete excavation of a defended enclosure. Finds include: Pottery, metalworking (crucibles), glass beads, wooden artefacts. Environmental evidence: charcoal; wood; soil studies.

Wainwright 1971b; Savory 1976b; Guido 1978              

(Collection: NMGW 71.33H)



Settlements – secondary sites


Berry Hill

Small-scale excavation of a defended enclosure.

Mytum and Webster  1993


Brawdy Hill Fort

Partial excavation of a small inland promontory fort. Finds include: Pottery, metalworking (slag), metal artefacts.

Dark 1987, 1988, 1990


Bryn Maen Caerau

Partial excavation of a defended enclosure. Radiocarbon dates. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils.

Williams forthcoming


Caer, Bayvil

Excavation of a small enclosure, reused in Early Medieval Period for burials.

James 1987


Castell Cogan

Small-scale excavation of a small bivallate hillfort. Finds include: Pottery (IA), iron spearhead (IA/RB).

Grealey, Jones and Little 1972; Williams 1978                


Clawdd-y –Milwyr (St David’s Head)

Nineteenth century partial excavation of a coastal promontory fort. Finds include glass beads and decorated spindle whorls.

Baring Gould 1899; Guido 1978; Figgis 1999

(Collection: Tenby Museum)



Partial excavation of this enclosure revealed a RB rectangular stone building. Finds include: Pottery (RB), quern (IA/RB), metal artefacts (RB), spindle whorls (IA/RB).

Ward 1907; Williams 1978 

(Collection: NMGW 63.373)


Dale Promontory Fort

Extensive (unpublished) research excavation, followed by salvage recording. LBA  amongst finds.

Benson and Williams 1987; Grimes unpublished


Great Castle Head

Small-scale excavation of a coastal promontory fort. Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils; charcoal.

Crane 1999


Henllan, Ceredigion

Medium area excavation of the defences and interior of this inland multivallate promontory fort. Finds include an amber bead. Environmental evidence: charcoal.

Williams 1944-5; Savory 1976

(Collection: NMGW 53.267)


Henllys Top Field

Small-scale excavations of a defended enclosure. Finds include: loom weight, spindle whorl, shale bracelet.

Mytum and Webster 1986


Knock Rath

Excavation of a defended enclosure. Environmental evidence: pollen.

Crossley 1965, 1979


Llangynog II

Extensive excavation of a small, rectilinear defended enclosure.

Avent 1973, 1975


Llansteffan Castle

Section across defences.

Guilbert and Schweiso 1972, Guilbert 1974


Merlin’s Hill

Small-scale excavations supported by radiocarbon dates.

Williams, Darke, Parry and Isaac 1988


Merryborough Camp

Small-scale excavation of a defended enclosure. Environmental evidence: pollen.

Crossley 1964


Moel Trigarn

Early excavations of the interior of this multivallate hillfort at or before 1900.

Pottery (IA), iron bridle bit (?), glass beads, jet ring, decorated spindle whorls, shale armlets.

Baring Gould et al 1900; Guido 1978; Figgis 1999                          

(Collection: Tenby Museum)


Parc Cynog, Carmarthenshire

Small-scale excavations on an inland promontory fort.

de Quincey 1969


Pembrey Mountain

Partial excavation of a small defended enclosure, and survey of associated remains. Finds include: pottery (IA & RB). Environmental evidence: plant macrofossils.

Williams 1981; Figgis 1999                                                

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum 86.09)


Pen Dinas, Aberystwyth

Small-scale excavations on a large hillfort. Finds include pottery (inc. stamped Malvernian vessel), glass bead (Meare type – Guido Class 10).

Browne and Driver 2001; Davies 1994; Driver 1998; Forde et al 1963; Guido 1978; Peacock 1968; Savory 1976b

(Collection: NMGW 47.164/194 -vessel; lost (rest of assemblage)


Pendinas Lochtyn

Small-scale excavation within a small coastal hillfort.

Scott and Murphy 1992


Strawberry Hill, Little Haven

Partial excavation in 1950s-60s (unpublished) by W F Grimes. Records in NMR.


Tower Point

Small-scale excavation of a coastal promontory fort.

Wainwright 1971a



Small-scale excavation of a defended enclosure.

Thomas and Walker 1959


Woodbarn Rath

Partial excavation of a defended enclosure

Vyner 1982, 1986



Possible Bronze Age burials


Cwrt, Llanfynydd

Possible burial with gold torc in urn. A penannular gold armlet ‘with two balls at the ends’ was apparently found in an urn under a big stone in 1876. Not certainly of Bronze Age date (possibly Ewart Park).

Wheeler 1924; Fox & Bowen 1935; Burgess 1976          

(Collection: lost)


Drawsdre Isaf Farm, Llanarthney

Cremation with looped socketed spearhead (Acton Park to Ewart Park). A quantity of ashes and bones were found in a limestone cave in a field called Cae-dan-y-cwarran in 1797. Textile remains included in the deposit and the spearhead was found at the bottom of the ashes.

Anon. 1893; R.C.A.H.M.W. 1917b; Fox & Bowen 1935; Burgess 1976

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum No. 312)



Inhumation with Ewart Park Type sword. Found digging out a fox in a marsh near Stackpole in 1800. The bones of a human foot were also found, suggesting a disturbed inhumation.

Barnwell 1876; Burgess 1976; Bruck 1995

(Collection: Tenby Museum - sword)



Iron Age Burials


Castle Bucket

Cremations in pits outside defended enclosure, radiocarbon date of 2340±60 bp.

Williams 1985b


Drim Camp

Cist containing a cremation outside defended enclosure.

Williams and Mytum 1998


Plas Gogerddan

Excavation of multi-period site with Iron Age inhumations and cremations, including two La Tene III brooches, accompanying crouched inhumation burial, and further possible La Tene III brooch accompanying another crouched inhumation.

Davies 1994; Murphy 1992; Savory 1992        

(Collection: Ceredigion Museum 1998.40.3)


Stackpole Warren

Excavation around a standing stone revealed a crouched inhumation and 3 child inhumations.

Benson et al 1990



Field systems


Mynydd Llangyndeyrn

Survey of possible prehistoric field systems on small area of moorland.

Ward 1989


Skomer Island

Survey of field systems and related monuments.

Evans 1990; Grimes 1951


Stackpole Warren

Excavation and survey of field system and associated sites. Radiocarbon dates.

Benson et al 1990


St David’s Head

Survey of field systems and related monuments.

Murphy 2001



Middle and Late Bronze Age Hoards


Acton Park (1600-1400 BC cal)



Cemmaes (Taunton) (1400-1275 BC cal)

Capel Isaf, Manordeilo, Carmarthenshire (SN 659 252)

Found in 1975 under the end of a glacial erratic boulder during construction of a sewer trench. Comprises four gold armlets of sheet form and the terminal of a ribbon torc.

Benson 1975; Savory 1976a; 1977; 1980; Northover 1993; in prep; Eogan 1994

(Collection: NMGW 76.7H/1-5)


Cemmaes / Penard (1400-1140 BC cal)

Priory Farm Cave, Monkton (SM 979 017)

Found in Priory Farm Cave, early excavation during 1906-07. Comprises Transitional palstave, chisel, saw  and twisted bracelet. Human remains may be associated.

Laws 1908; RCAHMW 1925; Grimes 1933; Savory 1958; 1980; Northover in prep

(Collection: NMGW 09.18/1-3b)


Penard (1275-1140 BC cal)

Tiers Cross, Milford Haven (SM 87/8 10)      

Metal detector find in 1991. Some complication over precise provenance. Three gold torcs (1 flange twisted, 2 coiled wire).                        

Aldhouse-Green & Northover 1994; Northover in prep                               

(Collection: NMGW 93.77H)


Wilburton (1140-1020 BC cal)



Ewart Park (& Blackmoor) (1020-800 BC cal)


Allt Gelli Felen, Myddfai (SN 7632 2864)

Discovered during agricultural work, additional artefacts later discovered by metal detecting over the locality, all during the early 1980s. Comprises nine socketed axes (5 South Welsh type, 1 South Welsh variant, 1 ribbed, 1 Type A / Type Wallingford plain, 1 unseen).                                         

Briggs & Benson 1986; Briggs et al 1987; Briggs & Williams 1995; Northover in prep

(Collection: Carmarthen  Museum)


Freshwater West, Castlemartin (SR 88 99)

Metal detector find circa 1991 on the beach at Freshwater West.  Comprises two South Wales Type socketed axes, one plain socketed axe, one Ewart Park sword fragment, one Carp’s Tongue sword fragment, twenty three copper ingot fragments.

DAT 1991; Northover in prep                                                                           

(Collection: private possession)


Kidwelly (SS 409 070)

Found near Kidwelly Castle. Comprises a Late palstave and an unclassified socketed axe.

Anon. 1856; Evans 1881; RCAHMW 1917; Fox & Bowen 1935; Northover in prep

(Collection: lost)


Pant-y-Maen, Clydai, Pembrokeshire (SN 257 326)                        

Found probably circa 1859 during peat cutting on west bank of Afon Pedran. Comprises swords (8 frags from Ewart Park type), spearheads (15 fragments – all diagnostic fragments from plain pegged types), chape (diminutive, tongue type), ferrules (5 of which 2 tubular and 3 with expanded foot), rings (3 now lost). Possibly another three spearheads and a sword fragment.

Jones 1861; Barnwell 1864; Evans 1881; Wheeler 1922; Sansbury 1930; Bowen 1936; Griffiths 1957; Burgess et al 1972; Colquhoun & Burgess 1988; Northover in prep.

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum; University of Wales, Lampeter; lost)


Llyn Fawr (800-700 BC cal)



Uncertain date

Castle Hill, Aberystwyth (SN 579 816)

‘Five bronze celts, and ancient glass bead and other antiquities’ donated to the University College Museum, Aberystwyth. It is not clear whether the celts were associated.

Sansbury 1930; Northover in prep   

(Collection: lost)


Gilfach-goch, Llanwnda (SM 909 390)

From a cromlech. Comprises ‘two spearheads laid across each other and a knob of metal suspected to have been gold’.

Fenton 1811; Barnwell 1872; Northover in prep

(Collection: lost)


Tregaron (SN 68 60)

Possible hoard – though doubtful. Found circa 1850 in a peat bog. Comprised ‘two celts, all bronze, and a framea or light javelin’. The association of the celts with the spearhead is not certain. It has been suggested that the objects making up the hoard are a Group I palstave, an Irish unlooped palstave and a side looped spearhead.

Anon. 1850; Evans 1937; Briggs 1994; Northover in prep.          

(Collection: lost)


Nevern (SN )

Possible hoard ? Unlooped single rib palstave and socketed spearhead with peg hole. The palstave might be attributed to the Acton Park phase, whereas the spearhead is likely to belong to the Penard phase or later, throwing some doubt upon their association as a hoard.

Savory 1946-7



Iron Age significant artefacts other than those from excavations


Castell Nadolig (SN 298 503)

Found circa 1829 during agricultural removal of stone heap within a hillfort. Pair of bronze spoons, decorated with La Tene scroll decoration (2nd BC-1st AD). Possibly associated with a burial.

Way 1869; Craw 1923-4; Fox 1958; Savory 1976b; Wait 1985; Murphy 1992; Davies 1994; Jope 2000.

(Collection: Ashmolean Museum; NMGW replicas 22.326/2-3)


Pen-coed-foel, Gellifaharan Farm, Llandysul (SN 425 427)

Found circa 1895 during ploughing within a small hillfort. Bronze half-collar decorated with La Tene Stage 5 scroll decoration.

Barker 1896; Fox 1958; Savory 1976b; Macgregor 1976; Davies 1994

(Collection: Bristol Museum;             NMGW replica 37.226)



Gold Corieltauvian Stater (Mack 50) found before 1722. Dated to 70-55 BC.

Gibson 1722; Evans 1890; Allen 1960; Boon 1988; Davies 1994


Llanwnda, Fishguard

Found in 1826, when removing a cairn in advance of road construction. Mirror handle with possible helmet fragment. 1st century AD. Possible burial association.

Anon 1879; Boon 1980; Murphy 1992                                             

(Collection: lost)


Priory Street, Carmarthen

Silver trumpet brooch (LIA/ERB) with relief decoration and parcel gilt. Found by workmen in Priory Street, Carmarthen.

Boon & Savory 1975                                                                          

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum)


Priory Street, Carmarthen

Excavations in Moridunum between 1978 and 1990. Curved vessel mount or escutcheon decorated with the La Tene Stage 5 style and enamelled. Discovered in a third century AD context, but made during the first century AD. Also a blue enamelled saucepan handle with devolved La Tene motif, probably Romano-British.

James 1992                                                                                           

(Collection: Carmarthen Museum)


Castlemartin Burrows

Found ‘above an accumulation of clayey surface soil’. Glass bead necklace discovered at or before 1927, and scattered within an area of 30cm diameter.  Made up of 29 blue annular beads (Guido Group 6(iva)), now dated as Iron Age or Romano-British date.

Mathias 1927                                                                                       

(Collection: NMGW 29.370/1)



Found by the Rev Thomas Lawrence, in the Roman fort at Llandovery during the early nineteenth century. Silver coin of Cunobelinus (possibly Mack No. 227). Probably brought and used by the pre-Flavian Roman garrison rather than an Iron Age community.

Rees 1873; Boon 1988


Borth, Ceredigion

Alexandrian coin of Augustus. Possible evidence of pre-Roman trading relations.

Milne 1948                                                                                                            

(Collection: lost)


‘Celtic Heads’ (IA/RB)

Llandysul                                                              (Collection: Carmarthen Museum)

Carmarthen (2)                                      (Collection: Carmarthen Museum)

Laugharne                                                             (Collection: Carmarthen Museum 76.3531)

Llangynog                                                             (Collection: Carmarthen Museum 88.73)

Fishguard                                                              (Collection: Scolton Manor)

Llanycrwys                                                           (Collection: private possession)

Llanfarian                                                              (Collection: private possession)

Ross 1967; Megaw 1967; Savory 1973; Williams & Delaney 1982; Brewer 1986; Figgis 1999



Middle and Late Bronze Age significant single finds


Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire (SM 731 266)

Small gold nugget of possible Late Bronze Age date. Metal detector find.

Green & Northover 1996                                                                    

(Collection: NMGW)


Llandysul (SN 42 41)

British Type penannular gold bracelet with solid body of rounded/square cross-section and elongated evenly expanded solid terminals. Late Bronze Age.

Wheeler 1925a; Bowen 1936; Briggs 1994; Eogan 1994

(Collection: British Museum M W.G. 9)


Glan-rhos Farm, Llanychaiarn (SN 575 745)

Found in 1804 in a peat bog. Late Bronze Age circular shield of Yetholm Type.

Meyrick 1831; Sansbury 1930; Bowen 1936; Brailsford 1953; Coles 1962; Savory 1980; Briggs 1994

(Collection: British Museum)


Llanfair Clydogau (SN 67 51)

Found in 1886 in the Nant Clywedog-ganol valley. Dirk of Middle Bronze Age date.

Davey 1891; Sansbury 1930; Bowen 1936; Savory 1980; Burgess & Gerloff 1981; Briggs 1994                                                                                                            

(Collection: NMGW 09.130)


Cynwyl Elfed

Said to have been found during ploughing. Found prior to 1913. Sword of Ewart Park Type.

R.C.A.H.M.W. 1925b; Wheeler 1925b; Fox & Bowen 1935; Savory 1980;

(Collection: Private possession - NMGW (replica) 23.414)


Llanrian (SM 825 328)

Found on the seabed in 10m depth of water off Llanrian. Rapier in two pieces – Middle Bronze Age date.


(Collection: NMGW 88.121H)


Newgale Sands (SM 84 21)

Metal detector discovery during 1999-2000 – beach find. Dirk (Group II) belonging to the Acton Park or Taunton phases of the Middle Bronze Age.

Macdonald 2000                                                                                  

(Collection: private possession)



Iron Age pottery groups


Giltar Point, Penall. (SS 125 983)                                     (Collection: NMGW 30.185)

Grassholm Island (SM 599 092)                                        (Collection: NMGW 91.75A/1-3)

Nanna’s Cave Caldey Island (SS 146 969)                        (Collection: NMGW 63.335/68)

Potters Cave, Caldey Island (SS 142 971)                        (Collection: NMGW 63.337/9-18)

All Savory 1976

The Hoyle’s Mouth, Tenby (SS 112 003)                          (Collection: Tenby Museum)

Savory 1973; Figgis 1999

Darren Hillfort (SN 678 830)                                             (Collection: Ceredigion Museum)

Driver 1996


Other  key IA pottery texts: Spencer 1983


Other key Iron Age/Late Bronze Age texts

Davies and Hogg 1994; Lynch, Aldhouse-Green and Davies 2000; Savory 1976, 1980


Iron Age quernstones key texts: Briggs 1986 a&b




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