Stop 16 - Great Castle Head
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Great Castle Head
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SM 799 056
Stop 16: (1330 m) Great Castle Head
Great Castle Head is the site of another Iron Age fort, dating from the early to mid first
millennium BC. From the path, two defensive banks and ditches can be seen. These would have offered protection from
the landward side. As with the Iron Age fort at Dale Point, the occupants would have lived on the seaward side of
the banks and farmed the land outside defences.
The fort was excavated by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust in 1999. They reported that although the banks and ditches
survive in a reasonable condition, a massive landslip has lowered the land surface on the southern side by many
metres, and within the defences only a small portion remains of what would have been the residential area. The
excavation found post-holes and pits, and other artefacts such as prehistoric pottery, but no remaining signs of
roundhouses. Later Roman and 12th – 13th century pottery was also discovered, suggesting that the fort was
remodelled in medieval times.
More details can be found at:
During World War Two the Head mounted an anti-aircraft and searchlight battery, but few traces
remain of this today.
At low tide in Castle Bay a present-day wave-cut platform can be seen. This a modern example
produced by the same erosion process that resulted in the flat topography of much of the Dale peninsula (see Stops
8 and 15).