The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust
Historic Environment Record
 

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The Bulwarks

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 01193g
Trust : Glamorgan Gwent
Site Type : Hillfort
Period : Iron Age
Community : Chepstow
NGR : ST53799273
Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument

Summary :
This small stronghold is formed on a corner of land above the River Wye, about 50m OD and nearly the same height above the river which is here a tidal water, the land rises towards the northwest and to the south a steep, narrow gully separates the enclosure from the land to the south east.
The defences themselves are semi-circular in shape, curving from the north round to the south-west. The entire east side of the enclosure is defended by a sheer drop provided by Hardwick Cliffs. To the south a small, steep gully runs west-east to join the River Wye below, at the bottom of the Hardwick Cliffs. This gully seems to begin just west of the western defences of this site.

Description :
This small stronghold is formed on a corner of land above the River Wye, about 50m OD and nearly the same height above the river which is here a tidal water, the land rises towards the northwest and to the south a steep, narrow gully separates the enclosure from the land to the south east.
The defences themselves are semi-circular in shape, curving from the north round to the south-west. The entire east side of the enclosure is defended by a sheer drop provided by Hardwick Cliffs. To the south a small, steep gully runs west-east to join the River Wye below, at the bottom of the Hardwick Cliffs. This gully seems to begin just west of the western defences of this site.
The bivallate defences are impressive, especially considering that the interior of this enclosure measures only 0.1ha. The west rampart begins at the western edge of the gully to the south of the enclosure, but is separated from it by a large earthwork bank of about 4m high. The west ramparts then continues north with a ditch separating the inner and outer bank, the former standing at approximately 2.25m, the latter at 1.5-2m high. The ditch itself is about 2m wide. The entire rampart measures approximately 30m across. The north ramparts measure similarly in height except the overall width of these ramparts are 25m, however this may be due in part to the encroachment of the Electric Sub-station situated immediately north of the ramparts. The western rampart shows signs of having been what was defined on the OS card as a 'double, that is it had on its summit a slight depression thus forming two slight ramparts as at Sudbrook Camp (01142g)
the interior of the enclosure is laid to grass and is open to the public, at times serving as a playing field for community sports. Is mainly flat with two areas of slightly higher ground, although the reasons for this may be many and not at all related to the original purpose of the earthwork. While the interior is well managed, both ramparts, as well as the mainly geological southern gully, suffer from fly-tipping and the mature trees covering both ramparts are in need of management. (Wiggins 2006)

Sources :
Wiggins, H , 2006 , Prehistoric defended enclosures in Gwent ( © GGAT)

Events :
E001511 : Field visit to The Bulwarks (year : 2006)
E001550 : Prehistoric defended enclosures Gwent (year : 2006)

Related PRNs :


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