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Traces of the Iron Age

I recently visited Pembrokeshire and went for a walk in the woods within the Bluestone National Park Resort. This is a fabulous place to stay and it clusters about the ruins of a Norman church of Newton North as discussed here.

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This way to the Iron Age

Following streams and circling up and down hillsides, the walk was a stark contrast to the manicured surroundings of the holiday lodges. Amidst the mossy rocks and brambles, I was keen to explore the site where the resort’s maps note an ‘Iron Age fort’.  I knew it was likely to be only a small one: a modest fortified settlement like many in West Wales, rather than a full-sized ‘hillfort’ of the kind one might imagine when thinking of Danebury, Maiden Castle or Oswestry. Still… I was disappointed. The walks on the resort are excellent but this was a heritage fail on multiple levels.

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Experiencing the Iron Age

There was a sign telling me that the site was an Iron Age fort. Then I found a second sign, telling me it was an Iron Age fort. However, there was nothing to be seen; it was completely bramble-covered…. I’m sure from the topography that there were the remains of earthworks beneath the vegetation but there was nothing to see and nothing to explain what couldn’t be seen.

I checked in Arcwilio and there was no record of an Iron Age fort at the site. Is the public HER faulty or is it really illusory?

This is sad that a premier resort with archaeological remains has nothing for visitors to learn from these remains and about the Iron Age, not even a link to encourage people to visit Castell Henllys where one can visit a hillfort and reconstructed Iron Age buildings. It is equally sad that thousands of visitors to Pembrokeshire each year who stay at the resort cannot use Archwilio to find out about the remains.

Result: heritage fail!

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Still…. there were some nice mossy rocks!
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A great walk in the woods
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Panorama from the ‘hillfort’
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Fragment from the site map, showing the site of the Iron Age fort. Also note ‘Pentre Ifan’ as one area of the site….
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