North Hill Tor, Cheriton

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are earthwork remains

NameNorth Hill Tor, Cheriton
Alternative NamesNottle Tor Camp
Historic CountryGlamorgan
Modern AuthoritySwansea
1974 AuthorityWest Glamorgan
CommunityLlangennith, Llanmadoc and Cheriton

Located at the top of the rocky outcrop of North Hill Tor are the remains of a partial ringwork. The highest point of the Tor is over 40m O.D. with steep rocky cliff faces to the north and west. To the southeast the ground slopes away and the site is enclosed by a large crescentric bank, ditch and counterscarp bank. The bank is apparently up to 7m high from the base of the ditch. Towards the centre of the bank are traces of dry stone revetment visible for 6.5m along the upper part of its outer face. To the west is a gap of 6.75m in the bank, beyond which the bank is slighter. This would appear to represent to original entrance. This encloses an area c23m deep consisting of almost level ground but with no obvious traces of habitation. Many such defended promontories in Gower are sites of Iron Age forts but the size of the banks and the area enclosed lead the RCAHMW investigators to believe this is the site of a medieval castle. It lies within the territory along the north Gower coast owned by the Turbevilles in the 12th century, also including the sites of Bovehill Castle (15th/16th century), Weobley Castle (13th century) and a ringwork on Cil Ifor. There is no record of a medieval castle here but according to the RCAHMW it seems possible that this may have been the site of the Turbeville's castle in the 12th century, although Cil Ifor is another alternative. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

Nottle Tor Camp is a strongly-sited Iron Age promontory fort. A c.84m long crescent of bank and ditch, with a slight and possibly recent counterscarp, cuts off the south approaches to a rising hilltop, much encroached upon by quarrying on the north, west and east, the remaining area being c.70m by 42m. The entrance is thought to have been at the west end of the bank and a level terrace behind it may represent quarrying for its construction. There are traces of a dry-stone rampart

(Coflein)

This is scheduled as 'Prehistoric Domestic and Defensive', however the SAM Visit Description Text notes that the RCAHMW believe this to be of medieval origin. (Wiggins and Evans 2005)

The monument comprises the remains of a defended enclosure, which probably dates to the Iron Age period (c. 800 BC - AD 43). The enclosure is located on a narrow coastal promontory above the sea that marks part of the defensive circuit. The construction of one or more ramparts placed across the neck of the promontory divide it from the mainland. The site exploits an impressive natural rock outcrop jutting out on the cliff line for defence, with the defended area lying in the lee (south-east) of the rocks, on the shoulder of the spur. The inner rampart rises to a maximum height of about 2.5m above the interior, although it almost disappears at the southern end, where there may be an entrance. The maximum distance from the crest of the bank to the bottom of the ditch (there is no berm) is about 4.5m, on the east side. The bottom of the ditch is not always appreciably below the natural ground surface, although the outer (counterscarp) bank, about 1.5m high, gives an illusion of depth. It is possible that some of the material for the construction of both banks may have come from levelling in the interior. The outer bank is somewhat difficult to see clearly. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Possible castle. King rejects in CA as a prehistoric hillfort, though had apparently only slight doubt about identifying the site as a castle in the earlier publications. Accepted as possible castle by RCAHMW.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSS453938
Latitude51.6218185424805
Longitude-4.2361798286438
Eastings245300
Northings193810
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 254 (listed as ?IA)
  • < >RCAHMW, 1991, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Glamorgan Vol. 3 Part 1a: The Early Castles (London: HMSO) < > CR15 p. 116-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 174 (reject)
  • Hague, D.B., 1971, in Pugh, T.B. (ed), Glamorgan County History Vol. 3 The Middle Ages (Cardiff) p. 444

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124 (possible)

Other

  • Wiggins, H. and Evans, E., 2005, Prehistoric defended enclosures in Glamorgan with recommendations for fieldwork