Many of Pembrokeshire's 58 coastal promontory forts are iconic and well-known monuments. They occur in a density unparalleled in the rest of Wales. Morphology is highly variable, as is Pembrokeshire's ever-changing coastal geology, from resistant granite in the north to softer limestones and sandstones in the south. New surveys by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) of three promontory forts on the Castlemartin Peninsula in south Pembrokeshire – Linney Head Camp, Flimston Bay Camp, and Greenala Point Fort – have demonstrated how complex and different each of these sites is and, as part of a wider study of the Castlemartin Peninsula, have raised new questions concerning our understanding of this monument type. Dominating and shaping the discussion is our modern-day perception that coastal promontory forts are remote, exposed, and dangerous places. How much is this an accurate portrayal of prehistoric attitudes to the sea or was their outlook more mundane and practical? Did coastal promontory forts share identical functions as defended domestic/agricultural settlements, exploiting a seaward position for ease of defence, or were they indeed special places? Their highly variable architecture – coupled with some unusual characteristics of topography and setting – may indicate varying functions among even closely neighbouring sites. The evidence revealed from the study suggests that some coastal promontory forts may have been exclusively used for ceremonial or seasonal activity, while others may have been quite different prestigious residences investing heavily in monumental architecture. In conclusion, there is considerable merit in the detailed resurvey and re-investigation of coastal promontory forts within distinct regional groups to shed new light on our understanding of this later prehistoric monument type.