The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological
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Blackcliffe Wood Camp
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 00748g Trust : Glamorgan Gwent Community : Tintern Unitary authority : Monmouthshire NGR : ST52909899 Site Type (preferred type first) : Iron Age Hillfort Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : A small sub-triangular promontory camp on a hill spur; univallate on South, scarped on West and East. The earthwork is in poor condition and is covered with trees and dense undergrowth.
Description : A small sub-triangular promontory camp on a hill spur; univallate on South, scarped on West and East. The earthwork is in poor condition and is covered with trees and dense undergrowth.
The site of Blackcliff Wood camp, also known as Porthcaseg Camp, presently occupies a wooded clifftop promontory overlooking the River Wye to the east, and the valley of Porthcaseg to the west. The site measures 90m by 50m, in a triangular shape defined by the breaks in slope to the east and west, and a drystone bank and ditch on the southern side. The popular Wye Valley Walk proceeds through the camp from a forced entrance at the south-eastern edge adjacent to the cliff, to the northern tip where it scrambles downwards towards Tintern. The site is wooded largely by immature trees, some yews and pine, but mostly various deciduous species. Many of the trees are dying or collapsed apparently due to the insufficient soil-cover. The original entrance seems to be a simple turn in the defences in the south-western side of the site. The defences are restricted to the southern and south-western edge of the site, with the rest of the promontory afforded protection by the natural slope. The defences are nowhere higher than 1.5m, although the ditch is relatively well preserved. The defences peter out along the western edge but may also be detected as a slight earthwork north of the entrance. Internally there are no features, other than a roughly circular area of dark earth contrasting the redder natural soils. This area of dark earth contains large inclusions of charcoal (taken from Eden 2000 'Results of a Soil Survey of an Enclosure in Blackcliff Wood, Tintern, Monmouthshire' Unpublished, Bristol University). (Wiggins 2006)