The legacy of the Iron Age is written large on the landscape of Pembrokeshire. As a place which has largely escaped the developments of the modern age, Pembrokeshire is scattered with a rich tapestry of Iron Age and prehistoric standing stones, hill forts, field patterns and roundhouse remains.
The Iron Age began around 500 BC and lasted until the early centuries AD. In Pembrokeshire it began with the arrival of Celtic settlers, organised into warlike tribes. These people established their homes across the landscape, and took an interest in the high places and coastal cliffs of the area. Hill forts can be found across the Preseli Hills, but none is more impressive than the splendid Foel Drygarn.
Along the coast, people took advantage of the promontory cliffs. To ensure their safety from landward attack they raised high banks, such as can be seen at Flimston Cauldron Fort and at St David’s Head, where the defensive bank is known as the Warrior’s Dyke.
Yet, these Iron Age people were not entirely warlike. They also cultivated the land, tending crops and livestock. On Skomer Island the field boundaries that were established during the Iron Age continued to be used for centuries after. The ghosts of roundhouses can be found tucked under the lee of windward slopes.
Experience the Iron Age
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority owns and manages the recreated Iron Age hill fort at Castell Henllys on the fringe of the Preseli Hills. Archaeological studies have enabled the construction of roundhouses on the footprints of the original buildings.
Visitors can sample life in the Iron Age, while schools can travel back in time and help prepare the evening feast and construct a roundhouse. The darker side of Celtic life is seldom far away, and children need to be ready to train as warriors, just as their ancestors would have done.
Find out more about Pembrokeshire's History
Reflections from Castlemartin 1939
The culmination of a project to recognise the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Castlemartin Range.
The victory of Henry Tudor at Bosworth field in August 1485 ushered in a new era of British history; the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty. T
About the National Park
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Facts and Figures
Find out some fascinating facts that highlight what makes the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park so special.
Access and Rights of Way
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The historic environment is part of what makes the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park such a special place. People have lived and worked in the park fo...
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has many habitats which support a wide variety of wildlife; both common and rare.
When you think about the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park you may conjure up images of beautiful beaches, panoramic views from the Coast Path and qua...
In this section we invite you to travel back in time and explore the rich cultural history of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Culture and Heritage
Pembrokeshire has a rich and diverse culture which has been shaped down the centuries by waves of invaders and settlers.