This is an obvious ‘must see’ extension when visiting Parc-Le-Broes burial chamber.
Easily seen from the footpath and now has its own info board thanks to the Forestry Commission. The cave has a ‘keyhole’ shape and the entrance is large – no need for stooping here! You pass a smaller cave entrance on the way up the steps but this is also barred and locked.
I had forgotten just how good a site this is - despite the new metal railings.
Up the steps through the trees and into the cave entrance. Although the inner part of the cage is fenced off to protect it (there are also bats roosting) you can still get a great ‘feel’ for the place by sitting on one of the large stones in the entrance.
The information board states that the cave was occupied up to 28,000 years ago. I sat and tried to contemplate this. People sat just where I was; keeping warm next to a fire, looking out across the tundra. I imagined how perhaps the cave was utilised with items and people occupying their own little part of the cave, children playing within the safety of the ‘family home’. Perhaps I am putting an idealistic ‘21st century’ slant on things – but it’s a nice thought anyway! I am still trying to get my head around people, like you and me, occupying this cave so very long ago – wow!
The fact that this is also home to Briatains oldest cave art only adds to the 'wow factor'.
Anyway, needless to say, I would heartily recommend to this special place if you ever get the chance.
From Cat Hole Cave, keep heading north along the path (away from the car park) and the cave is somewhere in the trees on the right – although I couldn’t find it!
I knew nothing about this cave prior to my recent re-visit to Cat Hole Cave.
When walking from the car park, through the gate, towards Parc –le – Breos there are now new information boards erected by the Forestry Commission Wales. These give details of the various flora and fauna to be found in the area along with the historic / prehistoric sites.
As expected this included the burial chamber, Cat Hole Cave and the lime kiln. However, I wasn’t expecting to see a reference to this cave; stating that prehistoric remains had been found there. The information board stated that a wooden marker/info board had been erected at all of these sites.
Sure enough there was one at the 3 sites I knew about so I fully expected to be able to easily find the marker for the Tooth Cave. I (quite excitedly) headed up the path keeping a keen eye out to my right where the map showed the cave to be.
I walked right to the end of the path (where you come to a stile and an open field) but I knew the cave was in the trees so I had walked too far. I retraced my steps back towards the car park and continued to look for the wooden marker post – no joy. I ended up back at the information board next to the car park and sure enough it showed I had twice walked past the cave’s location.
So, either I somehow managed to walk straight past the marker post twice without spotting it (unlikely – but possible!) or more likely there isn’t a marker for the Tooth Cave or there is but it is amongst the trees and not near the path?
I have since managed to find out this limited information about the cave:
Lethrid Tooth Cave is the longest cave on the Gower. It was used during the Bronze Age and when excavated it was found to have at least 8 burials – 6 adults and 2 children. The entrance to the cave is blocked by a locked gate.
I didn’t manage to find it but it is worth having a look for when visiting Cat Hole Cave and Parc-Le-Breos. Good luck!
On a beautiful day it was a pleasure to visit this secluded wooded valley. There were few people about and it was nice to re-visit this easy to access CADW site.
The grass was wet but the sun was warm. A mother and young child were also paying a visit. The little boy eagerly explored the passageway and side chambers of the tomb.
A future TMAer perhaps?
The site was how I remember it from my previous visit although a new Forestry Commission Wales information board had been erected. This gives a brief explanation of the site along with an artist’s impression of how the tomb had been constructed.
I noticed that the old metal info board calls the site Park-Le-Bruce.
No doubt an anglicised spelling?
This is an easy site to access and well worth a visit when on the Gower.
See directions for Caswell Cliff Fort.
When you reach Pwlldu Bay there are two footpaths leading north off the main coastal path. I took the more western path which goes behind a house, across a field and into the woods. The fort is on the eastern side of the woods.
When I use the word ‘path’ what I really mean is a path on the map but nothing on the ground! When you enter the very overgrown woods you are met with a steep sided ravine in which making any headway is difficult. There are lots of moss covered boulders about and trees and roots angled in all directions. It reminded me a bit of the jungle in Jungle Book. Alas there was no sign of any singing/dancing monkeys. Certainly the archaeological remains amongst these trees are not as good!
In all honest I couldn’t make out anything of this promontory fort – but there again I can’t say with 100% certainty that I was looking in the right place to start with.
Perhaps it would be easier to approach the site via the more eastern of the two paths although this would involve walking through the woods the whole of the way.
See directions for Caswell Cliff Fort.
Continue west along the coastal path, past the picturesque Brandy Cove, the large pebble beach off Pwlldu Bay and up onto Pwlldu Head. It took me about 1 hour to walk from Caswell Bay to the fort.
This stretch of coastal path is wonderful with a varied landscape and obvious fantastic coastal views. You do need to take care however, as sections of the path are very close to the edge of the cliff and you are no more than a step away from a ‘half day out with the undertaker’ – as the late great Fred Dibnah used to say.
Pwlldu Head can be seen from a fair distance away as it is the highest point along this part of the coast. Although the path up to it isn’t overly demanding. On the way you pass what looks to be an old lime kiln. I startled a young fox that was enjoying the sunshine on the path between the gorse.
The centre of the fort is now a roughly oval field. Along the northern side of the field, under the hedgerow is a small earthen/stone bank.
Are these part of the remains of the northern defences?
I would recommend a visit for the walk and coastal views but not for much of the archaeology remains.
I parked in the Foreshore car park (opposite Bishop’s Wood - £2.20 for 2.5 hours) on the B4593 although there is another car park directly across the road from Caswell Bay. From Caswell Bay follow the coastal footpath signs west. There is low water tide route across the beach, or if the tide is in, along the narrow road (no pavement).
It was a beautiful autumnal day and after having enjoyed my recent day out on the Gower so much I felt compelled to another visit. This time I decided to walk along the stretch of coastal path between Caswell Bay and Pwlldu Head. Only a short stretch of path but one that would allow me to take in 3 cliff/promontory forts. As an aside, the creation of the Wales Coastal Path has to be one of the best things the Welsh Government has ever done – an unquestionable success enjoyed by many people.
It has been many, many years since I last visited Caswell Bay and I had completely forgotten what a great, family-friendly, place this is. Large car park, toilets, café / shop, Lifeguard station and easy access onto sands. The Bay is quite small so fairly sheltered, the sand soft and litter free and the sea a turquoise blue. The fact the sky was also blue and the sun shining brightly obviously helped matters. I arrived at the beach at 8.30am and noticed a photo-shoot of some sort taking place at the bottom of the beach. As the tide was out I opted for the low tide coastal route which involves walking across the lovely sands around to the right and up a set of steps. This then brings you out onto the coastal path proper.
I looked up to where the Cliff Fort is but there was no chance of an approach from this direction. Near vertical sides with head height bushes of gorse. I decided to continue along the coastal path towards High Pennard Promontory Fort and try accessing the Caswell Fort on the way back via the alternative route along the road to the north of the site.
The route along the road is quite dangerous and you will need to be very careful – particularly if you have children with you. The road is steep, narrow, with a couple of bends and cars that drive too fast. Sections of the road has no pavement so walking along the yellow lines is the best you can hope for.
There is little/nothing that can be seen of the Cliff Fort, other than a roughly triangular shaped field. The boundary of the field (which may or may not have remains of ramparts) is completely overgrown with high bushes and is fenced off.
Although I couldn’t recommend this site to visit from a TMA perspective I can highly recommend a visit to the lovely Caswell Bay and this stretch of the coastal path.
When visiting Maen Ceti you simply have to stroll over to have a look at this impressive Cairn. Now not very high it still has a fair sized footprint which perhaps gives an idea of how high and impressive it must have been when first built. Speaking of which I wonder if Maen Ceti was robbed of its stones to help build the Cairn?
As with Maen Ceti the views are extensive and this must have made a bold statement ‘back in the day’. Well worth a visit in its own right.
It was the end of my day on the beautiful Gower peninsular and it was time to head on home. However, I couldn’t leave without taking the opportunity to visit the mighty Maen Ceti.
I parked in the very bumpy car park (had the place to myself) and headed towards the tomb which is just about visible from the parking area. The nearby Cairn is also visible from here. The sun was still shining in a lovely autumnal blue sky with only white fluffy clouds for company.
It is only a short walk but a cold breeze made me do my jacket up. The last time I visited the path was quite bogy with large puddles to negotiate. No such problems this time although it seems the resident cattle and horses favour the path as their chosen site for emptying their bowels.
I wouldn’t have minded but I didn’t have my bag and shovel with me in order to take advantage of their generosity!
As I approached Maen Ceti I was taken aback by just how massive the capstone is. It was larger than I had remembered - it really is huge. There are many large stones scattered both around the tomb and under the capstone. I noticed that the ground under the capstone was covered in a large puddle.
There are fine views to be had from Maen Ceti and if you ever have the good fortune to visit the Gower be sure to visit.
This is a ‘must see’ site for anyone who is even remotely interested in our prehistoric past. This is one of those sites that never fails to impress – regardless of how many times you visit.