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Castles, Museums and Historical Features in Gower, Mumbles and Swansea
Bronze Age Cairn, Rhossili Down

Bronze Age Cairn, Rhossili Down

At least fourteen Bronze Age cairns have been discovered on Rhossili Down. One of the most easily to recognise is very near to the trig point at the top of the Down. Most of the cairns have been plundered for the things that they contained. The Bronze Age people buried their dead in single graves with tools and things that they might have found useful in an afterlife. The Bronze Age people are the ones that were responsible for moving the blue stones from Preseli (the most Westerly Welsh mountain range that can be seen from Rhossili) to Stonehenge.

Goat Hole

Goat Hole, Paviland

(Also called Paviland Cave). One of the most famous archaeological sites in Britain, but not an easy approach. Walking boots recommended. Best known for the "Red Lady of Paviland" (a headless skeleton of a man, mistakenly identified as a woman, stained red with ochre) who lived 18000 years ago. Other objects found in the cave include jewellery made from reindeer teeth and mammoth ivory and worked flint tools. Some exhibits can be seen in Swansea museum.
In the last Ice Age, Goat Hole would have been inhabited as an inland cave, overlooking the valley and river towards Devon.

Burial Chambers
Sweynes Howes

Sweynes Howes, Rhossili Down

(Sometimes called Swine Houses or Sweyn's Howes). Situated on the Eastern slope of Rhossili Down, (over the ridge from the World War II encampment) are two piles of stones. Some of the smaller stones appear to be scattered about, whilst the larger ones cover the remains of a burial chamber. These large tombs were used for communal burial by the New Stone Age people who would have come to Britain about 6000 years ago. There homes would have been made of wood. Similar tombs include Arthur's Stone and Green Cwm.

Burial Chamber, Penmaen Burrows

This is what remains of an Iron Age burial chamber that would have been used for communal burials between 4000 and 5500 years ago and may have originally been covered with turf or stones.

Promontory Forts  
Fort above The Knave, Rhossili

Fort above The Knave, Rhossili

There are at least the remains of six Iron Age forts in the vicinity of Rhossili. The oldest is found on the walk out towards Worms Head. It is called "Old Castle". The forts are now only recognisable by the ramparts and ditches, but would have originally enclosed a small community of round huts. The remains are thought to date from between 100 BC and 100 AD.


Pennard Castle

Pennard Castle, Pennard

The remains of a Norman castle standing high on the cliffs overlooking Pennard Burrows and Three Cliffs Bay.


Click to enlarge
Oxwich Castle, Oxwich: more
Oxwich Castle is a castle in name only.  It is actually a grand Tudor mansion built in courtyard style with panoramic views.  Owned by Cadw.  Phone 01792 390359 for opening hours.
Click to enlarge Weobley Castle, Llanrhidian: more
Admire one of the few surviving fortified manor houses in Wales.  There aren’t many places where you can stand at the same window as someone did 500 years ago and witness the same unspoilt view.  Owned by Cadw.  Phone 01792 390359 for opening hours.


Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill more
Opened in 1990 as a countryside crafts centre, the 12th century water powered corn and saw mill was renovated, other craftspeople moved here and today it is a vibrant crafts and rural life museum. Phone 01792 371206 or email
Click to enlarge National Waterfront Museum, Maritime Quarter, Swansea: more
Telling the story of how industry and innovation have affected the lives of people in Wales over the last 300 years. Interactive displays. Free admission. 01792 638950
Click to enlarge Swansea Museum, Maritime Quarter, Swansea: more
Visit the oldest museum in Wales. This treasure house contains historic artefacts from the past of Swansea, Wales and the wider world. Phone 01792 653763
Click to enlarge Swansea Museum Collections Centre, Landore, Swansea: more
Home to the reserve collections of Swansea Museum including maritime and industrial items. Limited opening. Phone 01792 467282
Click to enlarge Swansea Museum Tramway Centre, Maritime Quarter, Swansea: more
Admire the street trams of bygone Swansea and the famous Mumbles Train that ran around the edge of the bay from Swansea to Mumbles Pier.  Limited opening. Phone 01792 653763
Click to enlarge Swansea Museum Floating Exhibits, Maritime Quarter, Swansea: more
Visit Swansea Marina and view the museum’s historic vessels, from the lightship 91, tug boat ‘Canning’ and the ‘Olga’ pilot cutter.  Limited opening.  Phone 01792 653763
Click to enlarge 1940s Swansea Bay, Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea: more
The WWII experience. Experience the sights and sounds of an air raid. Clothes and gas masks to try on.  Spam sandwiches and camp coffee. 01792 458864
Click to enlarge Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea: more
Free exhibition on the life and work of Wales’ greatest writer, Dylan Thomas. Unique archive material, manuscripts, photos etc. Year round programme of literary events. Annual Dylan Thomas Festival (see website). 01792 463980
Click to enlarge Cefn Coed Colliery Museum, Crynant, Neath, SA10 8SN: more
Explore the colliery buildings and learn what it was like for miners working underground. Free parking. 01639 750556

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