Prehistoric Wales

button-theme-prehistoricUse the lists below to discover stories about prehistoric Wales. You can also access the stories at each featured location, by using your mobile to scan our QR codes there.

In some of the places, scanning the QR codes as you pass allows you to see photos of fascinating objects found at the site during archaeological digs but now kept in distant museums, or maps, drawings, aerial photos or reconstructions.

Some of the stories are of international importance, such as the sources of Stonehenge bluestones in the Preseli mountains, western Europe’s oldest known human burial site at Paviland, Gower, the extensive Bronze Age copper mines on the Great Orme, and the Bronze Age gold cape found in Mold. Some explain the presence of ditches, dolmens and other features in the landscape, while others relate to sites which have been destroyed or covered since archaeologists made records.

Most of the featured places relate to evidence of human activity but there are also stories about natural history, including mammoths, rhinos, hyenas, rare fish, rocks, fossils and trees.

 

Anglesey

Rhosneigr - men’s cremated remains were found at Barclodiad y Gawres, a Neolithic burial mound
Amlwch - Dinas Gynfor hillfort occupied the most northerly land in Wales, at Porth Llanlleiana

Gwynedd

Tudweiliog - a Bronze Age rapier (sword) is among prehistoric objects found around Porth Ysgaden
Nefyn - on Garn Boduan are remains of at least 170 prehistoric huts, indicating a large community
Trefor - a brooch in Celtic La Tene style was found at Tre’r Ceiri hillfort, near Bwlch yr Eifl
Dinas Dinlle - here you can see remains of a large hillfort
Llanfaglan - the dry summer of 2005 revealed the church is in the centre of a web of prehistoric ditches
Llanberis - the rare type of fish in Llyn Padarn was probably isolated here in the Ice Age
Llanberis - slope above Llyn Padarn gave clues to the geologist who defined the Cambrian period
Bangor - remains of a large timber-framed building from c.3700BC were found at Parc Bryn Cegin
Porthmadog - Iron Age hut remains near Borth-y-Gest are unusual as they’re on low land
 

Conwy

Penmaenmawr - cremated children’s remains found at stone circles, near stone axe quarries
Conwy - over 400 sling stones were found at Caer Lleion hillfort on Conwy Mountain
Great Orme - here you can enter the world’s largest complex of Bronze Age mines
Great Orme - Llety’r Filiast dolmen was used for burials, as were nearby caves
Great Orme - in 1880 Thomas Kendrick found a prehistoric skeleton, animal-bone jewellery and bears’ teeth
Llandudno - museum exhibits local prehistoric finds including a 5,000-year-old skull
Little Orme - see how the view to Llandudno and the Great Orme looked in the late Stone Age
Little Orme - remains of a woman from c.5,570 years ago were found in a deep fissure
Abergele – on Coed y Gopa are remains of the hillfort called Castell Cawr (giant’s castle)
Llangernyw - ancient churchyard hew probably germinated in prehistoric times
 

Denbighshire

Rhyl - tree stumps exposed at low tide may date from 6,000 years ago
Llandegla - prehistoric burial site was found to contain ashes of four bodes, a stone cist and urns
Berwyn mountains - Moel y Gaer has Bronze Age burial cairn and Iron Age fort

Flintshire

Mold - gold cape found in 1833 is one of the most remarkable survivors from Bronze Age Britain


Powys

Welshpool - the site of Beacon Ring hillfort is mentioned in ancient legends
Presteigne - Discoed’s ancient yew tree probably germinated in prehistoric times
Crickhowell - site of Neolithic tomb where evidence of human activity was found


Ceredigion

Borth - at Cors Fochno there are remains of a tree stumps from c.2,500 years ago
Llangrannog - a prehistoric ammunition cache was found at local hillforts


Pembrokeshire

Abercastle - capstone of Carreg Samson burial chamber almost mirrors distance ridge
St Davids - the picrite boulder at Porthlysgi was carried a long way here by glacial movement
Solva - Porth y Rhaw has Iron Age fort remnants. Giant trilobite fossil found here in 1862
Solva - there are large cromlech capstones at St Elvis Farm
Newgale - in 1188 Gerald of Wales recorded that prehistoric tree stumps had been exposed here
Preseli - ancient ‘Golden Road’ route passes many monuments and sites
Preseli - Source of Stonehenge bluestones
St Brides - decorative beads and thousands of Mesolithic flint axe heads were found at Nab Head
Amroth - prehistoric tree stumps, acorns and leaves have been exposed on the beach


Carmarthenshire

Marros - coastal Iron Age hillfort, near remains of peat beds under the sands
Pendine - Eglwys Gymyn sits within a triple-banked Bronze Age fort, still partly visible
Laugharne - Coygan Cave was used by Neanderthals, and was later a hyena den
Llansteffan - castle is one of few in Wales known to be on the site of a prehistoric fort


Swansea

Pilton - the ‘red lady of Paviland’ was found at western Europe’s oldest burial site
Reynoldston - Arthur’s Stone was the capstone of a Neolithic tomb with two chambers
Rhossili - Worm’s Head has defensive ditches of a hillfort
Rhossili - Mesolithic objects found at Burry Holms include flint points and tiny saws
Penmaen - near Penmaen Burrows burial chamber is a cave where rhino and mammoth bones were found


Vale of Glamorgan

Barry - oyster fossils in the Blue Liassic rock at Bull Cliff produced decorative ‘black marble’


Cardiff

Rumney - coastal digs have discovered hoofprints of prehistoric cattle and remains of a wooden trackway

Newport

Uskmouth - over 6,000 years ago a child and two men left footprints which were found in 1986

Monmouthshire

Portskewett - remains of hunter-gatherers’ hearths, tools and even food have been found along the coast