Porth-y-Rhaw Coastal Promontory Fort

Dyfed Archaeological Trust has obtained funding from Cadw to undertake archaeological excavation at Porth y Rhaw promontory fort, near Solva, Pembrokeshire in July 2019. Porth y Rhaw is a multivallate coastal promontory fort much reduced by coastal erosion, so much so that the interior of the fort is now reduced to a small promontory.

Previous excavations were undertaken between 1997 and 1998 . Part of the interior and a small section of the inner bank were excavated, together with two trial trenches in the outer defences. The interior of the fort showed dense occupation with elements of at least eight roundhouses visible within the excavation area.

Artifactual dating evidence for the earlier phase of the fort’s occupation was not recovered. However, radiocarbon dates suggested that the construction of the defences began in the early to mid-Iron Age. Pottery from later interior phase of occupation included Black Burnished ware, Samian and a mortaria sherd. This material suggested that the site was in use from the first to the fourth century. The remains of a small furnace or oven, fragments of a crucible and a considerable amount of iron slag all suggested both iron and bronze working was undertaken on the site.

The promontory fort is being actively eroded and in 2019 the aim of the excavation is to recover as much information as possible from the entrance to the fort before it is lost to the sea, or before excavation becomes too dangerous. This project is being funded by Cadw and is being undertaken in partnership with The National Trust who owns the site.


Porth y Rhaw Report (PDF format – opens in a new window)

Porth-y-Rhaw Coastal Promontory Fort – Dig Diary 2019



Heneb - The Trust for Welsh Archaeology