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Friday, 20 August 2010

The Archaeology of Skomer Island

Skomer Island
DI2007_0343     NPRN 402711
Royal Commission investigators Louise and Toby, have just been on a visit to Skomer Island situated off the coast of Pembrokeshire. This wonderful place is principally famed for its wildlife, however, its archaeology is equally as stunning and features one of the best preserved prehistoric landscapes to be found in Wales, if not Britain. Covering the Island are a series of field boundaries together with cairns and settlements of the Prehistoric population that once lived here. Whilst the majority of archaeological remains on the Island date to Prehistory, there are some that relate to the later post-medieval use of the island as a farm. One of the most interesting new features we saw yesterday was a steep ramp and track that has been cut into cliff edge on the Neck. This is where cattle would have been driven on their arrival to the Island. The  amazing thing about this is that in recent history cattle were swum to Skomer and Skokholm from mainland beaches, a remarkable agricultural ritual given hazardous tides and currents in these coastal waters.
Skomer Island field systems
DI2006_1191     NPRN 24369
You can find out more about the archaeology and look at some fantastic aerial photographs of the Island here:
Settlements and Field Systems Skomer Island Coflein Link

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