Standing stones and hill forts in St David's
St David’s might be Britain’s smallest city, but the area is full of history and culture, with Neolithic tombs, Iron Age forts and ancient rocks all part of the landscape. So what are you waiting for… it’s time to get exploring.
Wales' oldest rocks
The peninsula is dominated by some of the country’s oldest rocks, dating back to the Pre-Cambrian era, the earliest of the geologic ages.
Formed around 600 million years ago, the layers of sedimentary rock would have been volcanic in origin. These ancient sediments are now covered in places by layers of younger Cambrian rock, which are still over 400 million years old.
The geology here is a permanent record of the area’s past, with St David’s home to many important fossil discoveries of some of the earliest life forms on our planet.
Take a walk along the coastline and you’ll see the raw beauty of the peninsula for yourself – shaped by ancient continental collisions, with ice and sea gradually eroding away the younger sediments.
Climb to the peak of Carn Llidi, a towering jagged outcrop and admire the craggy outlines of Ramsey Island, and the Bishops and Clerks islets, several miles offshore.
Standing stones and tombs
People have lived here for at least 6,000 years and you’ll see reminders of the prehistoric settlements dotted all over the landscape, from ancient field patterns to enclosures and defensive banks.
Coetan Arthur is a Neolithic burial chamber on St David’s Head that dates back to around 4000BC. It has a huge capstone almost 20ft wide, supported by a side stone over 3ft tall, and was almost certainly built this way as an earthfast megalith.
It mimics the shape of Carn Llidi, the peak behind it, and its silhouette can be seen on the skyline from the Whitesands car park. Try the St David’s Head coastal walk for a closer look.
Iron Age forts
Look for the coastal fort site at the end of St David's Head – 2-3,000 years ago our Iron Age ancestors opted for promontory cliffs as a defensive position and built large ramparts to protect their homes from landward attack.
In fact, Pembrokeshire was a rather popular spot for Iron Age forts, with around 50 scattered across the coast. We look after half of them incluing nearby Caer Aber Pwll at Pwll Caerog Farm (a short walk from the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddi) and Porth y Rhaw, just west of Solva.