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An introduction to iron age forts

The Iron Age (1200 BC – 1 BC) occurred after the Bronze Age and is characterised by the use of iron and steel, which provided new opportunities in agriculture, religion and art. It was a time of invasion during which settlers often built forts to help protect themselves from bandits and enemy forces. The remains of these Iron Age forts can still be found in parts of Gower.

Iron Age settlers typically built two types of fort, know as hill forts and promontory forts. Hill forts were built on top of hills, whilst promontory forts were generally smaller and built on coastal cliffs. Both types were constructed from timber and often carefully located to take advantage of natural defences, such as cliffs or steep slopes, making them more difficult for attackers to approach. There is evidence of these forts surviving long into the Roman occupation of Britain, which suggests that they were well built and fiercely defended.