The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Cliff Fort


Visited 26 April 2013

After reluctantly leaving Goat's Hole cave, we make our way back up the gulley of Foxhole Slade. Passing the sheer cliffs that mark the southern extent of the promontory fort far above us, G/F points to the only slightly less steep grassy slopes to our left and says "we could climb up there". Fresh from the revelation of her enthusiasm for the inaccessible upper chamber of the cave, she's obviously feeling adventurous, so climb it we do.

This brings us out beside the inner rampart of the fort, with a dizzying view back down to Foxhole Slade behind us. We flop down on the grass of the flat interior to get our breath back.

This is actually my second visit to this fine little fort, as I came a little more than a year earlier on a coast walk with some friends. That was a rather flying visit, so today I'm keen to stay a while longer. It is very windy up here, luckily blowing inland over the cliff edge and unlikely to hurl us broken to our deaths far below.

The cave that we recently left is invisible in the cliff face below us, although we can see the "tongue" of rock that allowed us to scramble up to it, the far end now starting to disappear beneath the waves. The seaward aspect of the fort is pretty formidable, even if the tide is out only a lunatic would make any Guns of Navarone style approach to the defences from down there.

There are two certain lines of defences, one of which is further protected by an apparently rock-cut ditch. There may be a possible two further lines, although these appear more to be slight augmentations of the tilted planes of rock that form the headland and, indeed, the Gower's entire southwestern coast line.

We sit for a while at the exposed and windswept tip of the fort, above the "Yellow Top" that provides the alternative name. Exmoor can be seen hazily across the Bristol Channel, forming the far edge of the pre-Ice Age plain that once stretched sway from these cliffs.

It's a great spot, worth the longer visit this time round. We head off to meet the neighbours at Horse Cliff.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
12th May 2013ce
Edited 12th May 2013ce

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