Location: Grid Reference SS436908
Situated at the western end of the Gower peninsula, located 1km to the
southeast of the small settlement of Llangennith.
Designations: Hardings Down lies within
- an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
- West Gower landscape which is included in the Register of Landscapes
or Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales (CCW/CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments/ICOMOS
UK 1998, 53-56.
Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) on site.
CRoW Open Access land. For more information go to www.ccw.gov.uk
This site has been the location for a number of scientific studies; from
experiments on the Bracken management to studying the effects of isolation
of what?. In (what year) an experiment started by Oxford University to
study the effect of habitat destruction on food web diversity. This research
aims to predict how habitat destruction will lead to biodiversity loss
here in the UK and the rest of the World.
Research has also been undertaken to study how the work of the Gower Commons
Initiative to control bracken is contributing to improving the habitat
biodiversity and trying to work out how these are working to be able to
improve our management? techniques.
In 2005 the GCI took part in the in the first national Water Shrew survey
organised though the Mammal Society. This site has two positive locations
and this was the first time that the animal had been recorded on this
site. Prior to this survey there was no data on the distribution or status
of Water Shrews on Gower. This information will help us to protect this
mammal and its habitat for the future.
Hardings Down comprises Permo-Triassic and Devonian reddish conglomerate
and sandstone overlain by humo-ferric podzols of the Goldstone association.
These are well-drained, very acid, very stony, sandy soils with a bleached
sub-surface horizon over conglomerate, and less acid and less stony coarse
loamy soils over sandstone.
History & Archaeology
There are five known sites of archaeological interest on Hardings Down
- a Bronze Age cairn
- three Iron Age Hillforts (all are Scheduled Ancient Monuments).
- a standing stone of unknown period
The presence of the three hillforts indicates that Hardings Down was
a foucs for activity during the Iron Age. It is possible that previously
unrecorded outlying earthworks associated with these featuers may be present
on the lower slopes of Hardings Down.
The easiest features to spot are the sites of the hill forts. All three
are marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map for the area. On the ground
they are defined by a turf-covered bank and ditch which marks the perimeter
of the fort. On the inside of this perimeter there are, in some places,
a single course of large stone blocks, which further define the site.
There is usually a gap in the bank where the entrance to the fort would
To download a copy of the guided walk over the commons, please follow the link below: