A hill fort is an ancient fortification, usually located on a hill top, which either contained a permanent settlement or was used seasonally or in emergencies. Hill forts varied in size from a small one for an extended family to a large one for the whole community. They usually follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more deep ditches, with associated ramparts of earth. The earliest examples date from the Bronze Age but most were built during the Iron Age. Some were known to have still been occupied during the Roman period and slightly after. It is believed that some were central meeting places for neighbouring tribes to trade.
There are various types of hill fort but they are usually defined by the number of defensive structures. A “Vallum” was the Roman word for the fortifications of a Roman camp and comprised of an earthen or turf rampart with a wooden palisade on top, plus a deep outer ditch.
Univallate: a single ditch surrounding the structure, together with an associated rampart.
Bivallate: two parallel ditches surrounding the structure, together with associated ramparts. One set is usually lower down the hill. Between the two sets is an area of level ground called a Berm.
Multivallate: more than set of ditches and ramparts. Outer works might not be complete circuits but defend the weakest approaches. Typically the inner circuit was original, with outer circuits added later.
There were three types of entrance :-
Simple Opening: the ramparts either side of the gate might be turned inward or outward, and be widened and heightened to allow defenders to look down on attackers.
Linear Holloway: the entrance ramparts were extended in parallel to form a long holloway. Attackers had to go through here and were vulnerable to defenders on the ramparts all the way along.
Complex: the holloway did not go in a straight line but bent at right angles one or several times. This caused confusion for the attackers and made them vulnerable to the defenders for a much longer time.
Shropshire is particularly well endowed with hill forts and just about every hill top in the south-western area has one. As well as hill forts, included here are similar defensive structures from that time.
Gazetteer of Sites
Abdon Burf, Ditton Priors (SO59508660)
Not scheduled. In 1928, the fort was excavated to reveal an irregular oval shape with an in-turned entrance, single ditch with rampart 3-9ft high and possible hut circle at east entrance. The site has now been destroyed by quarrying.
Beacon Ring, Pontesbury (SJ40950484)
Scheduled Monument, also known as Earl’s Hill Camp. Buried remains of a small multivallate hill fort and an adjacent cross dyke. The hill fort occupies the spinal summit of Earl's Hill, a steeply sided prominence with a top which slopes gradually from North to South. From this location there are commanding views of the undulating lowlands to the North and East, and the hills and valleys to West and South. It lies 0.7km to the South of the small multivallate hill fort on Pontesford Hill. Sub-rectangular in plan, with overall dimensions of 110m North-West to South-East by about 280m South-West to North-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of about 2.9 hectares. Its size would suggest that it was occupied by a large community where particular centralised economic and social activities were practiced. The earthwork defences have been created by cutting into the slopes of the hill. The excavated material has been used to form ramparts with steep outer faces, which are for the most part flat-topped, giving a step or terrace like appearance around the top of the hill. The earthwork defences defining the Western side consist of two parallel ramparts separated by a narrow terrace, which marks the line of the infilled ditch. At the Southern end two further closely set ramparts separated by a narrow berm or ditch provide additional lines of defence. On the more precipitous Eastern side, where there are rock outcrops, it is defined by a single rampart. Access was from the North where an out-turned entrance causeway connects with a terrace cutting into the Northern side of the hill. At a later date the defences were partially remodelled in order to create a fort consisting of two defended areas. An oval-shaped enclosure, of approximately 1.1 hectares, was constructed around the higher and more rocky part of the hill top, and involved the enlargement of the Northern sections of the Eastern rampart and the inner rampart on the Western side. The entrance was also renewed at this time. The ends of ramparts were turned inwards in order to create a narrow entrance passage about 4m wide. A more simply defined entrance, 5m wide, provided access from the Northern enclosure to the defended area at the South. The ditch to the East of this entrance passage consists of a series of quarry scoops cutting into the rock, the tops of which are still plainly visible. The uneven profile of the Western ditch terminal flanking the Northern entrance suggests that this part of the ditch was also of similar construction. A further alteration to the defences of the Northern enclosure included the intentional infilling of the entrance passage to the Southern enclosure. It would therefore appear that by this time the Southern enclosure had ceased to be used. Within the interiors of both enclosures are a series of level and gently sloping areas, which have been created by cutting into and depositing material along the more steeply sloping ground. These internal terraces are considered to be platforms on which domestic and ancillary buildings were constructed. The structural remains of which and their associated deposits will survive as buried features.
Near to the highest point within the Northern enclosure are the remains of a shallow rock-cut trench, averaging 0.7m wide, defining an oval area 21m by 24m. The exact function of this feature is unclear, but it appears to be modern and may well have been the base for a military installation used during World War II, such as a searchlight battery or aircraft decoy. Holes drilled into rock outcrops nearby may be associated with this feature. About 60m downslope from the Northern entrance, aligned South-West to North-East and running across the slope, are the remains of outer defences. They consist of two short, flat-topped ramparts each with a corresponding ditch and a counters carp bank to the North-West, separated by a gap of approximately 21m. The defences to the East run .up to the precipitous Eastern side of the hill. The form and location of these defences suggest that they acted in some way to control access from the North but it would appear that they were of limited use as defensive outworks. On lower ground to the North-West of these outer defences, and located within a separate area, is a cross dyke. This linear earthwork defines the Western .side of the shelf forming the summit of Pontesford Hill and is aligned North-North-East / South-South-West along the shoulder of the hill. It consists of a bank about 190m long, and between 8m and 11m wide, bounded on the Eastern side by a ditch formed by a series of irregular quarry scoops up to 6m wide. Although this ditch has been largely infilled it survives as a buried feature. The form of the bank is accentuated by the sloping ground on which it was constructed, and stands 0.8m to 1.4m high on the Eastern side and between 1.4m and 2.3m high on the Western side. At its Northern end the bank curves inward and to the South it has a stepped profile.
Berth, Baschurch (SJ43022368)
Scheduled Monument: Consists of two mounds of glacial deposits, originally surrounded by water which is now reduced to the Berth Pool. The larger mound is surrounded by a single rampart and the other by a single ditch. The two are connected by a 120m long causeway and they are all linked to the rising ground to the south by another 240m causeway. The latter is now cut by the stream which drains Berth Pool and it was at this point that a late Roman bronze cauldron was found. The in-turned entrance to the main enclosure is much mutilated, as a result of gravel digging about 1840, as is the ground within the ramparts to the South of the entrance. The South-West entrance of the small enclosure is similarly damaged.
Scheduled Monument. Situated on top of a ridge. The ground here slopes steeply to the east and south, gently to the north, and is virtually level to the west. It overlooks the valley of the River Onny to the North and East, with extensive views of the lower ground to the South and the hills beyond. It is sub-rectangular in plan with overall dimensions approximately 155m North-South x 225m East-West, with an internal area of about 1.7 hectares. The interior is defined by a rampart composed largely of stone with a steep outer face. The back of this rampart survives as an earthwork along the Eastern side and along parts of the Northern side. On the South, East and North sides, the rampart is bounded by an external ditch. To the South-West this ditch has been infilled and survives as a buried feature about 6m wide. On the Northern side the vertical rock-cut face of the ditch is still plainly visible beneath the outer face of the rampart. An outer bank, constructed of stone, defines the ditch along the Northern and Western sides and along the Western half of the Southern side. The original entrance is on the Western side and has been widened in modern times. A break in the defences in the North-East corner appears to be modern but may also conceal the buried remains of an original subsidiary entrance passage. Much of the interior has been ploughed since the mid-20th century. Shards of Roman pottery recovered from the plough soil indicate that it continued to be occupied in the Roman period.
Blodwell Rock Camp, Llanymynech (SJ26662293)
Scheduled Monument. Situated on the cliff edge to the North of Llanymynech Hill fort. A univallate fort, sub-rectangular in shape with an internal area of about 1.8 hectares. The defences are univallate for much of the circuit, although at the Northern end they are doubled and are covered by an additional outwork. The original entrance appears to have been in the North-East corner, where the defences are most complex. The ramparts are of dumped rubble construction where it is possible to study them. Much of the interior and the ramparts are covered with conifer plantation which obscures most features. Only at the North end, where open woodland predominates, is it possible to see anything in detail. The interior slopes gently from West to East.
Bodbury Ring, Church Stretton (SO44509479)
Scheduled Monument. Large univallate hill fort, occupying a strong defensive position on the Southern tip of Bodbury Hill. Roughly pear-shaped in plan, measuring some 120m North-East - South-West by 100m transversely, and has an enclosed area of just under 1 hectare. Designed to make maximum use of the topography, including a strong North-East facing rampart 6m to 10m wide and up to 1.7m high internally, rising 3.5m above the base of an outer ditch 8m wide and 1.3m deep. This rampart lies orientated roughly North-North-West – East-South-East across the neck of the spur to protect the natural approach from the North. The outer ditch fades out towards the Eastern end of the rampart, before the steepening of the natural slope, to allow a simple entrance through the rampart at the break of slope. This rampart may be the earliest part of the earthworks and may originally have functioned as a cross-dyke. This would then have been incorporated into a more comprehensive system of defences at a later date to create a hill fort. Around the remainder of the hill fort, the natural slope of the hill has been cut back to artificially steepen the slope and create a strong scarp 7m wide and between 3m and 3.5m high with an outer berm 2m wide. Beyond the berm, the hill slope continues to fall away precipitously. A low inner bank averaging 0.2m high can be traced running from the North-East rampart to fade approximately half way along the west side. The interior of the fort reflects the underlying geology so that, although it remains fairly level along the North-East / South-West axis of the hill, it falls quite steeply on either side to the ramparts. Believed to be a Bronze Age settlement reused in the Iron Age.
Bomere Heath, Pim Hill (SJ47572010)
Unscheduled. Circular Iron Age hill fort with three ditches and internal features.
Bomere Wood, Bayston Hill (SJ50100809)
Scheduled Monument. Terminal glacial moraine in Bomere Wood forms a high ridge and this has been artificially fortified by deep ditches with earth piled high above them to form banks. The ridge is long and narrow and defences have been cut across it at SJ49910825 and SJ50230792, from the water's edge on one side to the marsh on the other. The ditches average 20m wide and have a minimum depth of 3m. On the North-West, the inner bank is 1.5m high but is barely traceable on the South-East.
British Camp, Condover (SJ46400090)
Unscheduled. Iron Age hill fort recorded as having been levelled for agricultural purposes so that only part of it could be traced.
Bulthy Hill, Wollaston (SJ31351370)
Unscheduled. Possible Iron Age hill fort. Bank ditch on the East edge of Bulthy Hill visible, possibly the remnants of defences.
Burf Castle, Claverley (SO76289086)
Unscheduled. Iron Age univallate hill fort about 1 hectare in area. Defined by a scarp slope generally 1.6m in height, with a steep natural slope on the South-West. The enclosed area measures 140m from North-West to South-East, by 60m transversely, and there are traces of an apparently in-turned entrance at the South-East end. The North-West end encloses a natural knoll with traces of an external ditch. The apparent ditch at the South-East end appears to be a natural gully. The earthwork is planted with trees and obscured by dense undergrowth so the site is now extremely hard to trace.
Burgs, Bayston Hill (SJ48940875)
Scheduled Monument. Multivallate contour fort, sub-rectangular in shape with an internal area of 2.1 hectares, most of which is approximately level. The Northern part of the interior is now improved pasture; the Southern part is covered with scrub. The defences are bivallate for most of the circuit but on the Western / South-Western side are the remains of a more complex arrangement of banks, 15m wide and up to 1.5m high, in the gardens of various houses. There may have been an entrance in this area but, if so, encroachment by modern housing has destroyed it. Along the North side the defences are still very evident although ploughed in the past. The absence of the outer rampart at the Northern corner seems likely to be the result of modern quarrying. There has been quarrying along the whole of the East side so that the outer bank may not be part of the defences. Its sharp profile suggests that it may be a recent field boundary, perhaps following a pre-existing feature. In the Eastern corner is an original entrance with an in-turn on the Southern side. Towards the Southern corner, the outer scarp of the outer bank and a series of small scarps have been badly mutilated by housing development. Ploughing of the Southern part of the interior in 1956 showed the soil cover to be shallow and stony. It also cut into the edge of the inner rampart, dragging out large stones which were interpreted as a revetment for a core of small stones. Towards the Western end the stones of the core were reddened by burning. The only known finds are a knife and four shards of pottery.
Burrow Hill Camp, Aston-on-Clun (SO38218305)
Scheduled Monument. Iron Age multivallate hill fort with an elongated 'tear' shaped trivallate enclosure situated on the brow of Burrow Hill. There are 2 principal entrances into the fort, one at the northern end of the eastern side and the other midway along the southern side. In the eastern area of the fort there are many indications of the position of former buildings. Excavation of one of these platforms has revealed remains of several superimposed circular timber buildings. There are 2 springs within the enclosure which make it highly unusual.
Bury Ditches, Lydbury North (SO32748373)
Scheduled Monument. Small multivallate hill fort situated on Sunnyhill, a small but steep sided hill at the North West end of Clunton Hill. It is positioned strategically on the summit of the hill to overlook falling ground on all sides. Roughly oval in plan with maximum dimensions of 374m South-West to North-East by 260m transversely with an enclosed area of 3.3 hectares. The defences are designed to take maximum advantage of the topography and include an elaborate system of earthwork ramparts and ditches which appear to represent several episodes of construction. Around the South and South-East sides of the hill where the natural slope is at its most precipitous, forming a natural barrier to any approach from this direction, the man-made defences are at their simplest, being formed by two ramparts only. They are at their most massive South of the East entrance, where both banks rise 4.4m on their outer faces and 1.9m on their inner. The inner of the two ramparts maintains these dimensions throughout its length. The outer fades in its middle section before being reinstated towards the West entrance to an outer height of 2m and an inner one of lm. Around the Northern and North Western side of the hill, where the natural slopes are less steep and access to the hilltop is easier, the artificial defences are made more elaborate. Here, four and in places, five, successive banks with intervening ditches create a formidable set of defences. The innermost of these, lying on the upper slope of the hill and separated from the lower ramparts by a berm up to 12m wide, was probably the last rampart to be built; it rises 1.8m on its inner face and 3.6m on its outer. The remaining ramparts step down the slope, averaging 2m in height on their inner faces and 4m on their outer. Towards the Western entrance the third and fourth ramparts merge into one single bank, reducing the defences to three ramparts and an outer ditch. All of the defences show very steep profiles with little collapse, indicating a high stone content in their construction. This is confirmed where the inner fabric is exposed by erosion.
Bury Walls, Weston-under-Redcastle (SJ57652749)
Scheduled Monument. Large multivallate hill fort, occupying a well-defined promontory which forms part of the Southern escarpment of an imposing sandstone ridge. From this location there are extensive views over the North Shropshire plain. The overall dimensions are 380m East-West by 520m North-South. The defensive circuit encompasses a natural spring and encloses an area of approximately 8 hectares. The size of the hill fort indicates that it was the settlement of a very large community where certain centralised economic and social activities were practiced. The defensive strength of the hill fort is enhanced by its topographic location, where the surrounding ground slopes steeply in all directions except to the North. In relation to the natural topography, much of the circuit consists of a single, but sizeable, rampart, which is defined on its Northern side by a ditch, an outer rampart and an external ditch. The Eastern end of this outermost ditch is now visible as a shallow depression, having been partially infilled, and the corresponding length of outer rampart has been reduced in height by ploughing. To the West an elongated pond has been created within the outermost ditch. Along its Southern side, revetting the lower part of the external face of the outer bank, is a drystone wall of probable 18th century date. From within the interior, the height of the rampart varies considerably from 1.8m to 7.8m. On the Northern side the fall from the top of this rampart to the base of the adjacent ditch is about 14.5m. Along the Eastern side of the fort, on the external face of this rampart, the remains of low, stone-built, internal revetment walls, are partially visible. A cutting made through the top of this rampart in 1981 demonstrated that deposits of earth were overlain by dumps of stone. The principal entrance to the fort is near the North-East corner, where the ends of the inner rampart turn inwards to form an entrance passage about 5m wide. At the North-Western corner there is a break in the inner rampart corresponding with a narrow causeway at the top of the natural escarpment. These appear to be original features and are likely to have acted as a subsidiary entrance or postern. Outside the South-Western corner, a natural spur has been enhanced by the construction of a steep-sided bank, about 45m long. This feature appears to have been an integral part of the defences, serving as an external lookout platform. King Arthur had been associated with the Bury Walls since at least the late 16th or early 17th century.
Bwlch-y-Gwynt, Treflach (SJ26092463)
Unscheduled. Possible small Iron Age univallate hill fort, sited on a narrow ridge aligned North-East / South-West with steep slopes to North-West and South-East. There are traces of moss-covered drystone walling lining the inner side but this might be a relatively modern boundary wall. Along the North-East side the defences are represented by a low bank 2ft to 4ft wide, but to the South-West none exists. Internally the ground slopes down gently from North-West to South-East but in general no surface features are visible due to vegetation cover. Inside the Western corner, there are some internal features but what they represent is not clear. Two small quarries, now disused, cut the South corner and the North-West side.
Caer Caradoc, Church Stretton (SO47729528)
Scheduled Monument. Large multivallate hill fort with associated causeway and Caractacus' Cave. Both the hill fort and cave are named by tradition after the legendary first century AD Welsh chieftain Caractacus. Situated on the strategically strong summit of Caer Caradoc, a distinctive, steep-sided hill on the East side of Church Stretton valley. It lies orientated along the spine of the hill and has overall dimensions of 450m South-West to North-East by 160m transversely with a total enclosed area of 3 hectares. The defences are designed to enhance the natural strength of the hilltop position. They include inner and outer ramparts, separated by on average 28m of falling ground and are well defined around most of the hilltop, in places incorporating natural rock outcrops into the defensive circuit to encircle the hill summit. The inner rampart represents the earliest phase of the defences and is well defined around the North-East, North and West flanks of the hill. It has been constructed by cutting back into the natural slope, so creating a steep outer face up to 8m high and a lower inner face some 1.5m high. A shallow linear ditch averaging 7m wide and 0.8m deep runs alongside the inner face of the bank, it is stepped along the line of the ditch as a series of hollows. It appears to be the remains of the quarry ditch for the inner bank, material being thrown downslope to form the bank. The stepping may indicate how work was organised during the construction of the rampart, each hollow being the work of a separate team. At its Southern extent the bank turns to the South-East to cut across the neck of the hill and join with a large basalt tor. From the North edge of this tor a short length of bank curves to the North to form the South side of a simple in-turned entrance 2.5m wide. A shallow oval platform set into the inner side of the bank, South of the entrance, is believed to be the site of a guard chamber. The entrance is approached by a well-engineered causeway, 300m long and averaging 4m wide, which climbs the hill from the North-East.
Caer Caradoc, Clun (SO31017579)
Scheduled Monument. Roughly D-shaped in plan. Its overall dimensions are about 180m North-West / South-East by 390m South-West / North-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 2.1 hectares. The defences were built on a massive scale and represent a considerable investment of labour. On the South-Eastern side, where the ground is steepest, there are two ramparts separated by a rock-cut ditch, with a quarry ditch at the back of the inner rampart. Along the Northern side a similar arrangement exists, but here an outer ditch and a counterscarp bank were created as additional lines of defence. To the North of the Eastern entrance, the size of these outer defences increases. To the West, the defences cut squarely across the top of the hill and face a gentle slope. There are two entrances, which are diagonally opposed. The main approach appears to be from the West and the entranceway here is flanked by earthworks of considerable size. At both the West and East entrances the ends of the inner rampart turn inward to form entrance passages between 4m and 5m wide. The approach to the Eastern entrance is marked by a slight linear depression, or hollow way, formed by the passage of traffic ascending, and descending, the steep slope of the hill. Both the outer faces of the inner and outer ramparts were revetted with stone quarried from the ditches. At a later date, the height of the ramparts was increased with dumps of earth and stone. In the interior, within and above the quarry ditches, are a large number of platforms, some partly cut into the bedrock, which provided level areas for the construction of buildings. Also within the interior, about 70m to the East of the in-turned Western entrance passage, is a roughly circular depression, about 6.5m in diameter and 1.2m deep. This is considered to be the top of a well and contemporary with the adjacent building platforms.
Caerbre, Chirbury (SO27479643)
Scheduled Monument. The name Caerbre has also sometimes been applied to Calcot Camp. Univallate promontory fort situated upon the wooded East facing slopes of a North / South ridge, which stands within a bend of the River Camlad. The enclosed area measures roughly 200m North / South by 100m transversely and is bounded on the West and South-West by precipitous rocky cliffs falling to the river some 300ft below. To the South and North, around the ends of the ridge, are very steep natural slopes, whilst the East side is enclosed by a large earth and stone rampart, up to 14m wide, and 1.7m high internally. It stands up to 4.5m above an outer ditch which is 0.8m wide and up to 1.2m deep. The rampart terminates abruptly close to the edge of the natural slopes at the South end where the original entrance lay. At the North end, it fades out (or was never completed) upon the natural slopes. The lower lying Eastern half of the enclosed area protected by the rampart would have provided a suitable settlement area. Within sight of Calcot but separated from it by the deep gorge of the river.
Caer Din Ring, Bishop’s Castle (SO24038503)
Scheduled Monument. Enclosed settlement with dimensions of 114m East-West by 122m North-South and internal area about 0.85 hectares. The earthworks consist of a bank, constructed of earth and stone, and an external ditch. The bank is between 6m and 9.5m wide, and stands up to 1.8m high. The width of the ditch is between 3m and 4.5m, and along part of the outer edge on the north western side its steep rock-cut face is still plainly visible. The original entranceway into the settlement is on the eastern side and is 4m wide. A smaller entranceway at the north west corner of the enclosure appears to be a later feature. Within the interior there are a series of level platforms, some of which are partially cut into the gently sloping ground. These platforms provided level areas for the construction of houses and ancillary buildings.
Calcot Camp, Chirbury (SO27379592)
Scheduled Monument. Called Caerbre by some other early sources. Univallate hill fort sited on a promontory overlooking the River Camlad, which flows in a sweep to East and North of the site, at the bottom of steep slopes which are tree covered. Ramparts to North and East consist of steep scarp slopes as are those between the field and garden North of the farm buildings. This gives the impression that it originally consisted of a roughly rectangular site 130m x 120m in extent, including the highest point of the spur and gently sloping East. Only on the South side is there now any vestige of a bank, which would suggest that it was univallate in the first phase. An exposure at SO27449588, where a modern field road cuts across the join between the South and East ramparts, indicates that they were constructed mainly of dumped soil with a few stones. The Southern outer face of the rampart is a steep scarp . A modern break in the South-West corner was caused by farm traffic. At the South end of the East side, the inner rampart has been mutilated by the older farm buildings. The entrance in Phase I would appear to have been towards the North-West corner. Very few surface features are visible, although slight scoops may represent house platforms. At some later date it was extended to the South and West, and an in-turned passage entrance constructed in the North-West corner with two lines of bank and ditch. It is not clear whether this latter feature existed around all this extended area as the South-West segment has been removed by the farm building. Between the twin banks West of the entrance is now an overflow area from the pond, while the slight Southern ditch plays a similar role. Small areas of animal tread and vehicle damage around the entrance, but otherwise where extant the turf covered ramparts are in good condition. Road outside the farm to West overrides the outer bank on that side.
Callow Hill, Minsterley (SJ38440482)
Scheduled Monument. Buried remains of a small multivallate hill fort, situated on the Southern end of the summit of Callow Hill overlooking the Rea Brook valley to the North. Callow Hill slopes steeply on its Eastern and Western sides, while on the Southern side there is a deep ravine. To the North, the natural fall of the ground is less steep, but much of this part of the hill was quarried for stone in the 20th century. The hill fort is roughly triangular in plan, with overall dimensions of 96m North-West to South-East by 146m South-West to North-East. The defensive circuit defines an area of about 0.3 hectares. Its size would suggest it was the settlement of a small community, perhaps several related family groups or a single extended family group. The earthwork defences consist of two principal ramparts separated by a ditch. The outer faces of the ramparts survive as steep scarps, which closely follow the contours of the hill. The ditch, which has been largely infilled, is discernible as a terrace or as a shallow depression, but will survive as a buried feature. Along the North-Western side an outer ditch defined by an external rampart provided an additional line of defence. A similar arrangement exists on the Southern side, but here the outermost rampart is bounded externally by a terrace or infilled ditch. Running along this outer terrace is a former boundary bank. This section of the boundary bank is included in the scheduling. The original entrance into the interior of the hill fort was via a 4m causeway through the North-Eastern corner of the defences.
Castle Farm, Priorslee (SJ72440951)
Unscheduled. Iron Age double-ditched hill fort of 2.5 acres visible as a crop mark until 1980 when the site was inundated during the construction of a reservoir. Excavations of the site were carried out prior to its destruction and suggest that the site was abandoned before completion only to be re-fortified with a second ditch during the Roman period. A very limited amount of dating evidence was found during the excavation suggesting that the site was only occupied briefly, if at all.
Castle Hill, All Stretton (SO46099594)
Scheduled Monument. Remains of a small earthwork situated on the summit of Castle Hill, a small outlier to the East of the Long Mynd. The position was chosen for its strategic strength overlooking the main North-South route as it passes through the Church Stretton fault. The earthworks were designed to make maximum use of the natural defensive strength of the hill. The summit of the hill has been cut back around the West, North and East sides to form a steep scarp averaging 2.4m high with an outer berm or terrace 3m wide. Both ends of the scarp terminate on the precipitous slope which forms the South side of the enclosure. This artificial steepening of the hill has created a roughly sub-rectangular motte with a level platform, measuring 20m North to South by 22m East to West. The defences are strengthened around the West side by an outer rampart lm high on its inner, uphill, side, merging with the natural slope to fall some 6m to a lower terrace 4m wide. This rampart runs for some 18m before fading out at both ends on the steepening natural slope. The lower terrace can be traced around the end of the hill for some 22m before fading in a similar fashion. A slight in-turning in the scarp at its South-East corner, along with a lowering of the inner scarp at this position, is believed to represent the position of an original entrance. To the immediate East of the earthworks is a flat area bounded around its East and North sides by a low bank lm wide and 0.5m high.
Castle Ring, Meadowtown (SJ315006)
Scheduled Monument. Univallate hill fort, roughly oval in plan. Overall dimensions are approximately 115m North-West / South-East by 185m South-West / North-East and the defensive circuit defines an area of about 1 hectare. The earthwork defences originally consisted of a single rampart, constructed of earth and stone, bounded by an external ditch. The outer face of this rampart survives as a steep scarp, mostly between 4m and 6m high, which for much of its length closely follows the contours of the hill. The top of the rampart is now mostly level with the interior, but in places stands up to 0.4m high. The ditch, which has been largely infilled, is discernible as a terrace between 3m and 8m wide. It survives well as a buried feature. The entrance is at the North-Eastern end where the defences face level and gently undulating ground. At a later date the defences close to the entrance were modified in order to make this part of the circuit more elaborate and imposing. This involved the construction of a new length of rampart and an adjacent bank within the interior of the fort, both of which partially overlie the existing rampart. The ends of the new rampart and the bank turn inwards to define an entrance corridor about 4m wide. The rampart has steep faces internally and externally and stands to a height of 2.2m, while the adjacent bank reaches a maximum height of 0.7m. Slight undulations within the interior are considered to mark the positions of building platforms on which houses and ancillary structures were built.
Castle Ring, Ratlinghope (SO40489779)
Scheduled Monument. Univallate hill fort, which incorporates a series of cross dykes, situated at the junction of a West spur and South spur at the South-West end of Stitt Hill. Roughly triangular in plan with maximum dimensions of 160m East to West by 170m North to South and has an enclosed area of just over 1 hectare. The defences have developed from a series of cross dykes, cutting across natural spurs, into a near-continuous enclosure. The scale of the defences takes account of the natural topography so that, whilst the North side of the site is defended by a strong cross dyke type rampart, the South side depends heavily on the natural steepness of the slope. The Northern rampart is designed to protect the site from the natural approach along the hilltop to the North. It comprises a well-defined earthen bank up to 10m wide and 1.2m high on its internal South side, which stands 2.4m on its external side above the bottom of a broad bottomed ditch 5m wide and 0.9m deep. A vestigial counter scarp bank 0.3m high runs along the outer edge of the ditch along most of its length. At its Western extent the ditch has the form of several shallow scoops which may indicate its method of construction. This substantial bank and ditch cuts East to West across the hilltop, curving at either end before fading out in the West on a steepening natural slope and in the East at a simple entrance 12m wide. Running South-West from this entrance the natural slope has been cut back to form a steepened slope or scarp 4m high. At the top of this scarp a terraced way 2m wide has been cut into the hilltop creating a parallel scarp 1.2m high. The terrace passes out through the original entrance in the North-East and runs on along the ridge top to the South-West. The Southern corner is bounded by three short parallel banks and ditches averaging lm high and 0.6m deep respectively. These short cross dykes cut North-West to South-East across the narrow spur and are designed to block any approach from the South. The Western spur has a similarly positioned cross dyke. It lies some 90m West of the main enclosure and includes a low bank and ditch 27m long, North to South, with an overall width of 14m and standing up to 1.2m high. The remaining South-West portion of the enclosure appears to have no artificial defence, relying instead on the natural steepness of the slopes at the head of a small valley.
Castle Ring, Snailbeach (SJ37190109)
Scheduled Monument. Large univallate hill fort in a naturally strong defensive position on the summit of Oak Hill, a steep sided spur at the North end of Stiperstones. The enclosed area is roughly triangular in plan with maximum internal dimensions of 280m North-North-East to South-South-West by 190m transversely giving an internal area of approximately 3.8 hectares. The artificial defences are designed to enhance the natural strength of the site. The natural slopes fall precipitously on all sides except the South, the natural approach along the ridge top. Here the earthworks are at their most elaborate and include a strong cross-ridge rampart 8m wide and 3.5m high with an outer ditch on the South side 5m wide and 1.2m deep set across the narrow neck of the spur. The rampart is interrupted approximately midway along its length by a slightly offset, in-turned entrance 6m wide. Around the South East side, the already steep natural slope has been cut back slightly to form a well-defined scarp slope up to 4.8m high. This ends after 260m fading out on the natural slopes around the North-Eastern tip of the spur. Here the hill fort relies for defence solely on the precipitous nature of the slope. Around the West and North-West sides the natural slope has been cut back to form a scarp slope, up to 4m high with an outer berm or silted ditch averaging 3m wide. There is no visible evidence of habitation in the interior, the surface of which follows the natural contours of the hill, but the buried remains of such features will survive beneath the surface.
Caus Castle, Westbury (SJ33770789)
Scheduled Monument. Situated on a prominent hill at the South-Eastern end of the Long Mountain. From this location there are extensive views over the Rea Brook valley to the South and East, and the undulating lowlands to the North. Roughly rectangular in plan, with overall dimensions of 200m North-West to South-East by 565m South-West to North-East. The defensive circuit defines an area of about 4.7 hectares. Its size would suggest it was the settlement of a large community, where certain centralised economic and social activities were practiced. The earthwork defences closely follow the contours of the hill, which increase their defensive strength. Along the South-Eastern side, the earthwork defences consist of two ramparts, the outer faces of which survive as steep scarps, separated by a ditch, visible as a distinct depression to the North and a broad sloping terrace to the South. The Southern half of the defensive circuit along this side of the hill has been redefined and strengthened where it coincides with the defences of the inner bailey of the medieval castle. The South-Western end is defined by two ramparts separated by a deep ditch. Further South, running in' a straight line and defining the base of the hill, is an outer rampart bounded on its Northern side by a ditch, now visible as a shallow depression. These earthworks define the Southern side of an original entranceway, which also served as one of principal gateways into the medieval town. This entranceway, which was partially altered in the medieval period, is defined on its Northern side by the rampart running along the top of North-Western side of the hill. The outer face of this rampart survives as a steep scarp and is bounded by an external ditch, now visible as a broad terrace. From about its mid-point, running North-Eastwards, this ditch is defined by an external rampart, the outer face of which is also marked by a steep scarp. Downslope, an outer ditch and counters carp bank provide additional lines of defence, which continue around the North-Eastern end. Sections of these defences have been modified by the later quarrying for stone, by the construction of post-medieval and modern farm buildings and associated access roads, and by landscape gardening. At the Northern and North-Eastern corners are two further original entranceways, both of which also served as gateways into the medieval town.
Caynham Camp, Ludlow (SO54487373)
Scheduled Monument. Large univallate hill fort, with an annex, rectangular enclosure and building platform, situated on the summit of a small spur at the Western foot of the Clee Hill escarpment. Roughly oval in plan with maximum dimensions of 460m South-West to North-East by 190m transversely and has a total enclosed area of approximately 4 hectares. The defences are designed to take maximum advantage of the natural strength of the hill and show three phases of construction. The earliest phase is now the Eastern compartment of the earthworks. Here the defences include a substantial earth and stone rampart set on the upper slopes of the hill to completely encircle its rounded summit. The rampart is at its most massive at the Eastern end of the enclosure, the most natural approach to the site. Here it stands 4.lm high on its interior side and 5.5m on its exterior. This is flanked by an outer plough-spread bank 20m wide and 1.4m high which curves around the hill roughly North-West to South-East for 80m, parallel to, and some 10m out from the base of, the main rampart. Though this area has been disturbed in the past by cultivation, it is certain that a ditch lies between this outer bank and the main rampart. At the South-East corner of the enclosure the outer bank ends. Here the main rampart is interrupted by a good example of an original in-turned entrance; the North and South parts of the rampart curl inwards to form a narrow passage through the defences 40m long and only 3m wide. Such in-turned entrances were developed to ensure that any approach to the interior of the site could be overlooked and controlled from above. From the entrance westwards the ramparts continue in a similar form with an average outer height in excess of 5m. They are flanked by a ditch 4m wide with a well-defined outer bank 10m wide and 1.5m high on its outer edge. This outer bank continues along the full extent of the South side of the hill fort before wrapping around the Western end. However, although the main rampart continues parallel to it there is a distinct change in its character at a point 80m from the South West corner. From this point a cross bank curves North to South across the hilltop for some 85m, rising to a height of 1.8m on its Eastern side and 3.6m on its West. Although this is now largely unconnected with the South and North sides of the enclosure, it originally represented the Western end. This original circuit of defences is continued around the North side of the enclosure by enhancing the already precipitous natural slope of the hill with a rampart 0.8m high on its inward facing side, though merging into the natural slope on its outward facing side. The original enclosure therefore had interior dimensions of 250m South-West to North-East.
Chesterton Walls, Worfield (SO78669670)
Scheduled Monument. Large multivallate Iron Age hill fort, occupying a slightly elevated position in an area of undulating land, within an angled, steep-sided bend of the Stratford Brook, a tributary of the River Worfe. Thought to lie close to the South-Eastern margin of the Iron Age tribal territory of the Cornovii. Roughly D-shaped in plan. Its overall dimensions are about 340m North-South by 620m North-West / South-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 9.5hectares. Its size indicates that it was occupied by a very large community where centralised economic and social activities were practiced, including the storage and redistribution of food and the performing of ceremonies. The interior is defined by a single rampart with steep external and internal faces. The back of the rampart has been reduced in height by ploughing along much of the Southern side. An outer rampart was constructed on the Western side. This also has a steep outer face and is separated from the inner rampart by a rock-cut ditch. Along the Southern and Eastern parts of the circuit the rampart is bounded externally by natural cliffs formed by the Stratford Brook. These cliffs formed additional lines of defence, and in places they have been quarried in order to enhance their defensive appearance. Around the Northern and Western parts of the circuit the rampart is bounded by a broad external ditch, which has been largely infilled and is now mainly visible as a shallow depression. It will, however, survive well as a buried feature. The original entrance passage into the interior lies to the West of the mid-point on the Northern side. To the East of the entrance, the external ditch has been recut and partially modified by modern drainage channels. Along parts of the inner and outer faces of the recut ditch, revetment walls are visible. They are built of roughly coursed sandstone blocks and stand to a height of 0.7m. A wall faced in a similar manner, with a core of river cobbles and sandstone blocks, was constructed on top of the rampart which defines the interior. The wall, which now survives as discontinuous lengths and is partly embanked, is between 2.3m and 3.5m wide and stands up to lm in height. This wall is considered to be contemporary with the occupation of the hill fort and probably gave it its name. An annexe was created on the lower spur of land to the South-East of the main area. It is defined on its South-Western, Eastern and North-Eastern sides by scarps with steep outer faces and rock-cut bases. It is separated from the main area of the interior by a rampart, which is bounded in part by an external rock-cut ditch. Access to the annexe was via a gap in the rampart, about 6m wide. At the base of the Southern tip of the annexe, adjacent to vertically cut rock faces, is a short flight of rock-cut steps. Around the defensive circuit other flights of steps have been recorded in the past. It is considered that these features were used to provide access to parts of the circuit during the construction of the defences. Since the 17th century, much of the interior of the fort has been cultivated and finds of Roman coins here may indicate that occupation continued into the Roman period.
Clee Burf, Stoke St Milborough (SO59328433)
Unscheduled The South-East quadrant, in the form of a stone rampart which has been reduced to a scarp, is all that remains of the univallate hill fort. The rest of the remains have either been quarried away or dumped upon. Within and outside the area are innumerable hollows which are supposed to have been made in the search for coal.
Coed-y-Gaer, Rhydycroesau (SJ23242898)
Scheduled Monument. Sited on an isolated hill with steep drop on North and West sides.. Roughly oval, univallate hill fort with the long axis North-East / South-West. The ramparts consist of a tumbled mass of stone but it is not clear whether this represents dump construction or disintegrated dry stone wall. Some traces of dry stone walling exist but may be modern. The original entrance would appear to be in the West corner, where there is a simple break in the defences, but immediately South of it there is a modern entrance associated with the terracing around the hill. This has large retaining blocks. The interior is almost level but gently sloping down to North-East. On its South-East side, the rampart is breached in several places, while the outer face gives the impression that the tumble has been piled up in order to clear the terrace. An aerial photo shows that the site is covered by woodland.
Coxall Knoll, Bucknell (SO36607348)
Scheduled Monument. The Eastern half of this site is in Hereford. Buried remains of a large multiple enclosure hill fort, situated on the summit of a natural outcrop some 100m above the River Redlake to the North and the Teme to the South. It has three enclosures and is roughly oval in plan, with maximum dimensions of 570m East to West and 200m North to South. Its defences are designed to take advantage of the naturally steep slopes of the knoll and consist of a series of artificially steepened scarps in the hillside, topped with earthen banks following the contours of the hill. The main enclosure occupies the summit of the knoll and forms the Western half of the monument, having maximum internal dimensions of 300m East to West and 120m North to South, enclosing an area of 3 hectares. To the South its extent is defined by a 5m wide level terrace, created by gradual infilling of a ditch. Beyond this, defence is provided by the naturally steep slope. To the North is a series of three artificially steepened slopes with intermediate ditches. The scarps are topped with earthen banks up to lm high, and rise up between 8m-12m above the ditches below. These ditches are also infilled and are now represented by 5m wide level terraces. The middle scarp maintains the imposing dimensions of its Southern counterpart, and continues to the South-East, where it divides the Western from the two Eastern enclosures. It is supported along this stretch by a substantial ditch and bank, the bottom of the ditch being 8m below the top of the bank, and both having a maximum width of 5m-10m. The line of both scarp and bank is broken half way along, allowing access between the two enclosures. Within the Western enclosure the ground rises steeply to form a ridge, the sides of which have been shown to be terraced although this feature is greatly obscured by vegetation. The top of the ridge provides the only area of level ground on which outcrops of bedrock can be seen. There is a well approximately half way along the Northern edge of the enclosure.
Ditches, Longville in the Dale (SO56269424)
Scheduled Monument, also known as Wynbury Castle. Multivallate hill fort sited in coniferous woodland and old coppice. Almost circular with three lines of bank and ditch. The interior is gently domed but falls away more steeply on the North side. There are no signs of hut platforms or other features. The interior portion immediately East of the main gate is being ploughed, showing a yellow clay subsoil below humus. A shard of RB Severn Valley Ware was found immediately behind the inner bank in yellow subsoil. The ramparts are in general well preserved and widely spaced. The middle rampart has crests at its inner and outer edges on the East side and is markedly wide and flat topped. On the North-West, hill wash has reduced the inner bank to a scarp. Damage has recently been caused to the inner and middle ramparts in the area of the Southern entrance. There are also a number of modern breaches in the defences on the South and North sides, probably for access for removal of timber. The out-turn on the South side is marked by a low saddle which separates it to some extent from the inner bank from which it diverges. Some mutilation of the ends of the outer bank has taken place.
Earl’s Hill Camp, Pontesbury (SJ408048)
See Beacon Ring.
Ebury Hill, Uffington (SJ54611644)
Scheduled Monument. Univallate hill fort, D-shaped in plan, with overall dimensions approximately 230m North-West / South-East by 250m South-West / North-East. The area defined by the defences is about 3.6 hectares. The rampart is composed of earth and stone and has an average width of 12m. Its height varies from 1.5m to 3.2m externally and 0.7m to 2.1m internally. It is bounded by an external ditch, which has been largely infilled but survives well as a buried feature. Along the South-Western side, the ditch is visible as a shallow depression, up to 0.8m deep, and between 5.5m and 7m wide. The Northern part of the Eastern side of the defensive circuit, together with the North-Eastern part of the interior, has been removed by stone quarrying. The Ordnance Survey map of 1881 shows two breaks through the defences into the quarry. It is likely that one of these breaks also served as the original entrance into the fort. The southernmost break leads into the former quarry remains, while the gap to the North has been sizeably enlarged. In 1934 quarrying operations within the interior revealed the remains of two level building platforms cut into the rock, which had been paved with flat pieces of sandstone.
Fron Camp, Newcastle-on-Clun (SO24998266)
Unscheduled. Iron Age hill fort on spur of high ground overlooking Newcastle-on-Clun.
Gelli Lwyd, Llanyblodwel (SJ21822304)
Unscheduled. Iron Age hill fort on spur of high ground overlooking Gelli Lwyd to West
Haughmond Hill, Uffington (SJ53731378)
Scheduled Monument. Iron Age univallate hill fort situated on the Western end of Haughmond Hill, from where there are extensive views over the Severn valley and the North Shropshire plain. Irregular polygon in plan with overall dimensions of 155m North-South by 230m East-West. The rampart which defines the interior of the fort survives as a discontinuous earthwork incorporating the steep natural scarps and rock outcrops of the hilltop. The rampart around the South-Eastern part of the circuit is about 17m wide and stands to a height of 1 .8m. To the North, the rampart becomes less pronounced and survives as a scarp about 0.8m high. On the Southern side of the circuit, where the defences run up to the head of a narrow steep-sided gully, the ends of the rampart turn inward to form an entrance passage about 5m wide. The rampart to the West of the gully is visible as a steep scarp, with the defensive line around the South Western part of the circuit being maintained by the steep and rocky side of the hill: A natural scarp, 4.5m high, appears to have been artificially accentuated to form the rampart along the Western part of the Northern side. To the East of this scarp, where the ground is more level, the rampart stands to a height of 1.6m and is about 11 m wide. This rampart has a rounded Eastern end and appears to be the side of a possible entranceway. To the East of this section of rampart, where the ground is mostly level, there is no visible indication of any defences. It is considered that this part of the circuit was never completed. An external ditch along the South Eastern and North Western parts of the circuit provided stone and soil for the construction of the adjacent sections of rampart. Although this ditch is no longer visible at ground level, having been infilled over the years, it survives as a buried feature about 10m wide. The ground within the interior of the hill fort is uneven and bedrock is exposed in many places. Some of the depressions here are probably the remains of quarries used for the construction of the defences. Close to the Western side are the remains of Haughmond Castle, a late 18th century folly, and to the North-East of the folly, on lower ground within the Northern part of the interior, is a World War Il spigot mortar emplacement.
Kingswood Camp, Kinlet (SO73017688)
Unscheduled. Possible Iron Age hill fort. marked on map of 1808 but no trace can now be seen. Area is covered by oak woodland and a coniferous plantation. A gentle hump across a woodland path may represent the line of the South-West side of an earthwork.
Knowle, Hope Bagot (SO59867388)
Unscheduled. Possible hill fort, now largely obscured by the post-medieval settlement of Knowle. Substantial bank and ditch, with a possible counterscarp bank, is present in the field immediately to the West of the playing field. To the North, a degraded bank appears to be present on the line of the current hedgerow. No earthworks are visible in the area of unimproved land beyond the houses which line the Tenbury road. However, a possible ditch 8m wide, which appears to lie on the expected line of the ramparts, is visible as a parch mark on aerial photographs immediately to the East of a pond.
Lawley, Longnor (SO50299863)
Scheduled Monument. Small hilltop enclosure situated at the Northern end of The Lawley, a North-East to South-West orientated razor-backed ridge of high ground. The earthworks were designed to use the natural advantages of the hill to maximum effect and lie along the axis of the hill, forming an elongated, hour-glass-shaped, enclosure with internal dimensions of 85m long by 22m wide at the widest point, 14m at the waist. The defences comprise a cross ridge bank and ditches at the North-East and South-West ends, linked by enhanced natural scarps. At the North-East end, the cross-bank is 0.5m high on its inner, uphill, side falling 1.5m to a ditch 3.6m wide and 0.4m deep, with evidence of an outer bank 3m wide and 0.2m high. The cross-bank is between 2m and 3m high and curves around the hillside to the North and South to merge with the artificially steepened side slopes. The outer ditch follows the bank curving around to both the North and South to flank the side scarps as a berm, or terrace, 2m wide. The scarp continues around the South-West of the enclosure, where it cuts across the ridge to form the Southern cross-bank and ditch. The outer scarp is 1.7m high and falls to an outer ditch 4m wide and 1.6m deep. There is a counterscarp bank on the outer edge of the ditch 3m wide and 0.5m high. Midway along this side the outer bank is interrupted and the ditch crossed by an original entrance causeway 2.3m wide. In the North-East quarter of the interior of the enclosure is a sub-circular hut platform 7.5m in diameter. It is cut into the slope 0.2m on its uphill, North-East, side and raised 0.4m on its South, downslope, side. Although there are no other visible indications of structures in the relatively level interior, the buried remains of such structures are likely to survive below ground.
Leasowes Farm, Clun (SO28858089)
Unscheduled. Circular bivallate hill fort or enclosure, ploughed out on the South-East side but the rest of it may still survive as an earthwork. Within the enclosure are two ring ditches
Linley Camp, Norbury (SO36209545)
Scheduled Monument Small earthwork surviving as a bank with outer ditch situated on high ground at the top of Linley Hill. Although the earthwork does match the characteristics of a Roman signal station, excavations in 1954 failed to discover evidence to support this. The earthwork measures 21m each way, the bank is 6m in width, 0.3m high on the inside and 0.8m above the present base of the ditch. The ditch is 4m in width and 0.5m in depth.
Llanymynech Hill, Pant (SJ26472213)
Scheduled Monument. Iron Age or Later Bronze Age hill fort, one of the largest in Britain, enclosing 57 hectares. Although it may represent a tribal centre which once housed a large population, there have been suggestions that it may also have been built to protect the sources of copper ore which lie within its interior. There is evidence to suggest that these ores were being mined and used for the manufacture of bronze weapons and implements from the later Bronze Age onwards and there is a cave known as the Ogof inside the hill fort with mining implements dated to the Bronze Age. The hill fort is one of several contenders for the site of Caractacus' last stand. The Southern and Western sides of the outcrop are very steep and only a low single rampart was constructed here, later incorporated in the line of Offa' s Dyke. There are two narrow gaps along this stretch of rampart and another at the South-West but none of these is certainly original. On the North and East there appear to have been three or in places four ramparts. These survive relatively well on the North and North-East. On the East and South-East, the defences have been much damaged by houses, gardens and quarrying. Near the centre of the Northern side is an entrance with in-turned ramparts, apparently cut off by later banks and ditches (themselves now damaged by the construction of the golf course. A second in-turned entrance some 350m away on the North-East side is in an area now obscured by buildings and gardens. Llanymynech hill is a well-known source of copper, lead and zinc ores and, before the construction of the golf course, the interior of the fort was thickly pock-marked by the spoil of ancient small-scale mining for copper and lead ores. Charcoal from a hearth gave Carbon 14 dates of 162BC-53AD. These show that the hill fort was in existence before the late 2nd Century and that metallurgy subsequently took place, probably involving ores from Llanymynech Hill itself, and potentially indicating the production of brass at an earlier date than has generally been supposed to have obtained in Britain.
Lower Short Ditch, Churchtown (SO22278810
Scheduled Monument. The remains of a linear boundary which straddles the English/Welsh border and may pre-date Offa's Dyke. The boundary comprises an earthwork bank with a ditch to the west and a smaller ditch to the east. It runs east of and parallel to the Upper Short Ditch, an earthwork which is thought to be similar in date and function. It runs for 710 metres from north to south, with a clear terminal to the bank at either end.
Nescliffe Hill Camp, Great Ness (SJ38661979)
Scheduled Monument. Sited at Oliver’s Point, a D-shaped multivallate hill fort, with an area of 1.0 hectare, with a multivallate annexe of 0.1 hectare to the East. Constructed on a cliff edge which falls to the North, North-West and West. The defences are bivallate for much of the circuit but of the North side of the annexe only part of a single rampart remains. Similarly the South segment has been reduced to two scarp slopes. The banks appear to be of dumped rubble construction to judge by a small exposure on the North side of the in-turned entrance. However, a small-scale excavation in the South part showed the inner rampart to have been revetted with sandstone blocks. Part of the remains of this excavation is still visible as two small (3m x 1.5m) trenches behind the inner rampart. The defences of the annexe are cut by three modern gaps, the most recent of which would appear to be for a forestry road which cut through the ramparts at the point where they join those of the main fort. The overall dimensions are 185m North-South by 310m East-West. Its size would suggest that it was occupied by a large community where certain centralised economic and social activities were practiced. The defences enclose an area of approximately 2.8 hectares and encompass ground which rises to the North-West and an isolated knoll to the East. To the South and East, the earthwork defences consist of two ramparts each, bounded by external ditches. The ditch between the ramparts is still clearly visible, while the outer ditch, which has been mostly been infilled, survives as a buried feature about 8m wide. To the North-East, where the ground is steeper, a single rampart with an external ditch was constructed. This ditch has also been largely infilled, and it too survives as a buried feature about 8m wide. The North-Western side is defined by a sheer sandstone cliff. The original entranceway into the fort lies close to the North-Eastern corner and marks the division between the univallate defences to the North and the bivallate defences to the South. At a later date it was extensively altered, with the interior being divided into two distinct areas. Around the higher ground to the West sizeable defences, consisting of two ramparts separated by a ditch, were constructed, and included the incorporation and enlargement of the existing defences to the South-West. This newly created enclosure, with an internal area of approximately 1ha, appears to have served as the principal focus of the settlement. The area to the East, defined by the existing defences, seems to have acted as a subsidiary enclosure. Access into the main enclosure was via a narrow entrance passage, 2.5m wide, defined on either side by the in-turned ends of the inner rampart. At several places near the entrance the vertical faces of the rock-cut ditch can be seen.
Nills Hill, Pontesbury (SJ39550517)
Unscheduled. Iron Age hill fort on Nill's Hill, a summit of Pontesbury Hill. Oval in shape 80m long by 50m wide. The hill is being quarried from the South and only the Northern end of the camp survives, so mutilated that only a small amount of artificial scarping of the natural rock remains. To the South is “The Ring” (SJ395049), believed to be an ancient animal pound.
Nordy Bank, Clee St Margaret (SO57588471)
Scheduled Monument. Univallate hill fort which occupies a strong defensive position on Nordy Bank, the Western tip of a spur of high ground running West from the main plateau of Brown Clee Hill. Roughly oval in plan, the earthworks having maximum dimensions of some 260m East to West by 198m North to South and enclosing an area of approximately 3.2 hectares. The defences include a substantial and well defined rampart averaging 1.5m high around all but the East side, where it is up to 2.8m high. The outer face averages 4.2m in height, falling to an outer ditch varying between 8m and 5m wide and averaging 1.5m deep. The line of the ditch is disturbed around the South East quarter of the site where later surface quarrying has encroached onto the earthworks. There are five entrances to the interior of the enclosure, two of which appear to be original features. The main entrance is believed to lie at the North-East corner, facing the natural approach along the ridge top. Here the Northern section of ditch is interrupted by a causeway across the ditch 9m wide. The rampart is also interrupted at this point, although the entrance gap is only 3m wide and offset from the line of the causeway, slightly to the North. Such offsetting was designed to deflect any direct approach to the interior of the site, particularly by mounted attackers. Both sides of the rampart curve slightly inwards to create a simple in-turned entrance. A broadening and lowering of the ramparts flanking this entrance suggest that guard house structures once controlled this gateway. The strong defensive engineering at this entrance reflects an awareness of vulnerability to attack from the rising ground to the South-East. A second entrance lies approximately midway along the South side, here again the ditch is interrupted by an unexecuted section rather than crossed by a made-up causeway and the ramparts curve very slightly inwards to form an entrance gap 3m wide. This entrance lies above a steep South slope which would have made attack from this direction difficult, thus there is therefore less emphasis on defence at this gate though it is thought to be an original feature. Three other entrances through the rampart lie midway along the West side, midway along the North side, and in the South East quarter. All appear modern; the rampart having been pushed into the ditch to form a causeway. The gap in the South-East corner is probably associated with the surface quarrying which has damaged the ditch for a length of 50m as well as a small length of the rampart and a part of the interior. The interior of the site is divided into two main areas; a raised level area in the East and a lower area, also level, in the West, reflecting the natural topography. Along the inner side of the South rampart the surface appears to have been slightly scooped to form a shallow hollow 15m wide and 0.3m deep. This hollow is believed to be the result of surface scraping to provide material for the construction of the low inner bank around this side. Within the rampart the interior surface shows extensive, though slight, irregularities which indicate the survival of buried remains of structures relating to the occupation of the site. These are particularly clear in the North-West quarter of the site, where a rectangular building platform 8m square can be recognised linked to a curving scarp 0.3m high. Two low turf covered mounds can also be recognised in this area, the more westerly is 5m in diameter and 0.4m high, the more northerly 3m in diameter and 0.2m high. They are thought to represent clearance cairns. The slopes of the hill below all sides show evidence of medieval bell-pits and linear opencast mines.
Norton Camp, Culmington (SO44728194)
Scheduled Monument. Buried remains of a large D-shaped multivallate hill fort, situated on a gentle South East facing slope on the summit of a hill. Its position takes advantage of the natural defences provided by the precipitous slope and cliff faces to the North-West. It occupies a commanding position above the Onny valley and there are extensive views to the South and East of the undulating lowlands and the uplands beyond. It’s overall dimensions are 350m North-West / South-East by 360m South-West / North-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 7 hectares. Its size indicates that it was occupied by a very large community where centralised economic and social activities were practiced, including the storage and redistribution of food and the performing of ceremonies. Around much of the defensive circuit the earthworks consist of two ramparts each bounded by an external ditch. The inner rampart has a narrow top and is steep-sided, whereas the top of the outer rampart is broader and has a more gently sloping profile, which is stepped in places. Within the ditch which separates these ramparts, rock-cut faces are still visible at the South-Western and North-Eastern ends. Running parallel with the defences on the South-Western side are two short outer banks separated by a ditch. These outer earthworks appear to have been built as additional lines of defence. Along the top of the precipitous slope on the North-Western side, the earthwork defences consist of a single, straight- sided, low rampart, defined externally by a narrow terrace which is adjacent to a natural cliff. On the top of this rampart stonework is visible and is probably the collapsed remains of a low wall, or breastwork. There are two entrances, one to the East and the other at the South-East. Both are elaborate, with the ends of most of the ramparts turning inwards or outwards to form the entrance corridors. Within the interior, about 50m from the South-Eastern entrance, is an oval depression about 11m by 12m wide and 1.5m deep. This depression may mark the site of a former spring. Much of the interior has been cultivated since at least the late 19th century. Within the North-Western area are remains of small stone quarries. Several breaks across the defences in the vicinity of the quarries suggest that they were created in order remove stone from the site.
Scheduled Monument. A fine example of a nationally rare type of Iron Age multivallate hill fort. Situated on a glacial mound North of the town of Oswestry, with sweeping views to West, North and East. The site has been known by a variety of names, including Caer Ogyrfan (after the father of Guinevere) and Yr Hen Ddinas (meaning old fort or city). Finds of flints and a stone axe suggest there has been activity at the site since the Neolithic period, and excavation has revealed occupation from the Late Bronze Age through to the end of the Iron Age. In the 8th Century AD, it was incorporated into the line of Wat's Dyke, which extends to the North and South. It saw military use during the First World War, when it was used for training exercises by troops based at nearby Park Hall camp. Roughly diamond-shaped, with maximum dimensions of 570m North-East to South-West by 420m transversely. There are ramparts of five earthen banks and ditches, interrupted by two complex entrances, one on the East side and one on the West. The inner two banks and ditches are the earliest of the earthworks visible today, probably dating to around the 6th century BC, and they enclose a gently domed area of 8.4 hectares. They comprise an earthen bank with a flattish top and steep outer slope with a ditch some distance outside it, and a second, slighter bank beyond. Both banks completely surround the hilltop, except where they are broken by the entrances. A third bank and ditch extend around the West side, the bank surviving to 2.4m in places. Downslope of these, to the North and South of the Western entrance, are a series of roughly rectangular hollows between additional steeply sloping banks. They have been variously described as cisterns, storage pits, stock enclosures, and quarry pits, although their regular shape would argue against the latter. The outer and latest phase of defences are formed by two massive 'glacis style' earthen banks with steep sides rising directly from the bottom of their deep outer ditches and standing up to 6m high. These banks and ditches again surround the whole hill fort except where broken by the entrances, and the banks survive in places up to 6m high. Both entrances were initially created by in-turning the inner bank to form short passages into the interior. As the defences developed, the Western entrance in particular became more complex, and survives today as a sunken approach flanked on both sides by transverse banks and ditches extending to the outer edge of the rampart. The Eastern entrance is defended by an earthen bank along its South side. In general the banks and ditches are better preserved on the North and West sides, as the steeper slope to the South-East has caused the ditches to become more infilled, producing an almost continuous slope in places.
The visible earthworks represent the culmination of several phases of construction, which successively increased the defensive capabilities and status of the site. The earliest occupation within the rampart was a Late Bronze Age settlement of round huts. Charcoal from similar settlements elsewhere has been dated to the 9th Century BC. The trench for a surrounding timber palisade was found and a pottery bronze working crucible was found in the hearth of one of the huts, indicating that small-scale industrial activities were taking place. During the Early Iron Age the palisade was replaced by the innermost earthen bank. This was of 'box rampart' construction, with revetment walls constructed of boulders, some of which can be seen protruding from the bank. The shallow surrounding ditch was quarried roughly 10m outside the bank, and a second bank and ditch was constructed beyond it, rather lower than the first. The box rampart may have had a timber lacing similar to examples elsewhere, which have been radiocarbon dated to the 6th Century BC. A number of stone kerbed huts are contemporary with this phase of rampart construction and associated finds of Early Iron Age pottery supports a 6th Century date. The inner bank was later enhanced by a sloping earthen revetment against the inner stone wall, and the third bank and ditch were added around the Western half of the monument. It is likely that the in-turned entrances were created at this time, while occupation is represented by circular stone-walled huts which replaced the earlier stone-kerbed variety. The third, Western, bank and ditch were also extensively rebuilt, with the original bank and ditch buried beneath an enlarged bank around a boulder core. These impressive glacis-style ramparts probably date from between the fifth and third centuries BC, and were constructed in a similar way. The complex Western entrance had probably already been created by this time and was enhanced during the construction of these outer works. Contemporary with these developments, a large circular hut with stone footings was found to partly overlay the in-turn of the inner bank, to the South of the Western entrance.
Pave Lane, Chetwynd Aston (SJ75631645)
Scheduled Monument. Buried remains of a multivallate enclosed Iron Age farmstead, situated in an area of undulating land next to a pronounced curvilinear gully and an adjoining bank, both of which are natural features of glacial origin. The overall dimensions are about 160m North-West / South-East by 230m South-West / North-East. The internal area is pear-shaped and measures approximately 65m by 110m. It is defined by a bank, which has been reduced by ploughing and which now stands to a height of 0.2m. In front of this bank is a ditch about 4m wide, which has been infilled but survives as a buried feature. Around the Northern half of the enclosure additional lines of defence were constructed and consist of two principal ditches, both about 4m wide, separated by banks. These outer ditches have also been infilled and survive as buried features, but ploughing has reduced the height of the banks which are no longer visible as earthworks. The natural gully was incorporated into the defensive circuit, and a ditch was dug along its base. The principal entrance appears to have been from the South-West, where there is a causeway approximately 12m wide, flanked on either side by ditches which connect with the concentric ditches forming the enclosure. The partial archaeological excavation of the enclosure ditches has shown that they are all about 2m deep, with waterlogged deposits at their bases which contain organic remains. The pollen recovered from these deposits indicates that in the Iron Age the surrounding landscape was largely open grassland. The archaeological excavation of part of the South Western entrance revealed the well-preserved remains of a cobbled surface of probable Iron Age date. Geophysical survey also detected another possible entrance at the North-Eastern end of the site, surviving as a buried feature. Limited excavation within the interior found the remains of two curving gullies, thought possibly to be the eaves drip gullies of roundhouses.
Pontesbury Hill Camp, Pontesbury (SJ40860557)
Scheduled Monument. Buried remains of a small multivallate hill fort, situated on the Northern spur of Pontesford Hill with a commanding view of Rea Brook valley, the uplands to the West and the undulating lowlands to the North. It lies 0.7km to the South of the fort on Earl's Hill. Constructed around a steeply-sided shelf. To the South the surrounding ground rises steeply towards Earl's Hill. Oval in plan, with overall dimensions of 105m North-West to South-East by 140m South-West to North-East. The defensive circuit defines an area of about 0.3 hectares. Its size would suggest it was the settlement of a small community, perhaps several related family groups or a single extended family group. The earthwork defences consist of two principal ramparts separated by a ditch. The outer faces of the ramparts survive as steep scarps, which closely follow the contours of the hill. On the North-West side, the outer rampart coincides with a rock outcrop. The ditch, which has been largely infilled, is discernible as a terrace or as a shallow depression but will survive as a buried feature. Around the North-Eastern part of the circuit, an outer ditch bounded by an external rampart provided an additional line of defence. Outer defences were also constructed around the Southern half of the main circuit, on either side of entrance causeway into the fort. These outer defences consist of a rampart partly defined by ditches. Access to the interior was from the South-West, where the innermost rampart turns inwards to form an entrance passage about 3.5m wide. The outer lines of defence on Southern and South-Eastern sides have been partially modified by the construction of a forest track. On the Southern side, to the East of the entrance causeway, this track follows the course of the ditch separating the two principal ramparts. A complex sequence of occupation, of at least three phases, which pre-dated the hill fort. The earliest phase consisted of gullies cutting into the natural clay subsoil, associated with flint artefacts, most notably an early Neolithic scraper. The subsequent phases revealed were undated and consisted of pebble surfaces in association with post-built structures, together with a rubbish pit containing charcoal. In the post-medieval period, the hill fort and the surrounding area was subdivided by a network of woodland boundary banks. A low boundary bank cuts across the Southern part of the outer defences and originally may have connected with the more prominent boundary bank, orientated North-West to South-East that runs across the hill fort.
Preston Springs, Lee Brockhurst (SJ53902706)
Unscheduled. Iron Age univallate hill fort, situated on the edge of steep slopes above the River Roden to the East and with natural gullies on the North and West and at the South-East corner. The enclosed area measures 100m North / South, 60m transversely at the Southern end, tapering to 30m at the Northern end. The defences have been reduced to a strong scarp slope with a ditch, and in parts an outer bank. The scarp generally is 1.6m high, with traces of a bank at the South-West corner. The ditch is 0.8m deep on the North part of the East side, and 1.1m deep on the South, where it is accompanied by a flat topped outer bank 6m wide, and 0.8m high. Forestry and undergrowth cover the site, and no internal features could be distinguished. The original entrance may have been at the South-West corner.
Radnor Wood Camp, Clunbury (SO32028175)
Scheduled Monument. A probably unfinished Iron Age hill fort in commercial forest with heavy bracken and bramble undergrowth, now partly clear of trees. The site lies on an East / West ridge and the ground falls away steeply on North and South, and gradually on East and West. The earthworks are generally in good condition, though a gap 5m wide has been cut through the West rampart and ditch since 1908 and a track made East / West across the site. The earthworks form three sides of a rectangle with rounded corners. The main bank is 12m wide, 0.6m high from the interior and 3.1m to the present base of the ditch. The ditch is 6m wide and rises 1.5m to the crest of the intermittent counterscarp bank which is up to 1.5m high externally. The West side is 50m in length, the North 40m and the South 60m. The East termination of both North and South ramparts is ragged and the ditches in particular become progressively shallower for the last 10-15m. There is no trace of any East rampart, nor is it probable that it has been filled in or levelled and the site is probably unfinished.
Ratlinghope Hill Camp, Ratlinghope (SO40649731)
Scheduled Monument. Remains of a univallate enclosure, incorporating a cross dyke, situated towards the South end of a steep sided spur below the main plateau of Stitt Hill. The enclosure is roughly pear shaped in plan with maximum dimensions of 130m North-West to South-East by 110m transversely and has an internal area of just under one ha. The defences are designed to make maximum use of the topography. They are strongest around the North, where a well-defined rampart and ditch cuts roughly East to West across the neck of the spur, separating the Southern tip from the rising ground to the North. The rampart comprises a substantial bank 9m wide and up to 1.4m high internally, 2m externally. Orientated roughly East to West, it turns to follow the shoulders of the natural slopes to the East and the West, tapering out after 30m and 40m respectively. On its Northern, uphill, side it is flanked by a broad based ditch 5m wide and 1.2m deep, which also tapers out on the steep natural slopes to the East and West. This rampart may be the earliest part of the earthworks and it may have originally functioned as a cross-dyke. This would then have been incorporated into a more comprehensive system of earthworks to create an enclosure at a later date. These boundary works, forming the remainder of the enclosure, are less well defined but remain visible. The West and South sides are formed by an artificial cutting back of the natural slope to steepen it and create a strong scarp 2.lm high. A change of slope at the base of this scarp could mark the position of a ditch, though this has become infilled over the years so that it survives only as a buried feature. Some 40m from the South West corner, along the South-Western side of the enclosure and facing the main valley to the South-West, is an original entrance. It has the form of a pronounced break in the scarp, flanked on either side by pronounced terminals. The Eastern corner of the site is visible only as a change of slope. There is no visible evidence of any habitation in the interior of the enclosure, which slopes gently from North to South.
Ritton Castle, Bog (SO34449765)
Scheduled Monument. Buried remains of a univallate hill fort, ring work and bailey castle. The hill fort was constructed around a projecting shelf on the North-Western side of Brooks Hill, where the ground slopes steeply to the North, South and West. From this commanding position there are extensive views over the neighbouring valley and the surrounding uplands to the North and West. Sub-rectangular in plan, with overall dimensions of 116m North-West to South-East by 215m South-West to North-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of about 1 hectare. Its size would suggest that it was the settlement of a largish community, perhaps where particular centralised economic and social activities were practiced. Where the surrounding ground falls away steeply the earthwork defences consist of a steep scarp bounded by an external terrace, or berm, which for the most part is between 1m-2m wide. To the West, part of this scarp has also been divided by a narrow berm. On the Eastern side, where the ground rises gently to the South-East, the hill fort is defined by a bank, which averages 6m wide and 1m high, and an external ditch, which is between 6m and 8m wide and 1m deep. To the South this ditch is bounded by the steep scarp which continues along the Western and Northern sides of the shelf, and to the North-East where the ditch turns outwards to join the scarp. The original entrance into the interior was via a causeway about 5m wide, through the North-Eastern part of the defences. In the medieval period, it was reused to form a ring work and bailey castle, which is believed to have been the principal residence of Ritton Manor. The first known reference to the manor is in a deed of about 1203 when Robert Corbert of Caus granted Ritton to Buildwas Abbey. The ring work, which was constructed in the Northern part of the hill fort, is roughly triangular in shape, measuring approximately 28m South-West to North-East by 30m North-West to South-East, internally. The sizeable earthwork defences along its Southern side consist of a curving rampart of earth and stone, between 14m and 18m wide and averaging 2.2m high, with an external ditch between 8m and 10m wide, and between 1.2m and 2.2m deep. There is a 4m wide entrance passage through these defences which provides access into the interior. The Northern part of the defensive circuit of the ring work reuses the steep scarp which originally defined the North Western corner of the hill fort. The position of the ring work within the hill fort would suggest that the rest of the interior served as a bailey to the ring work and would therefore have contained a range of ancillary structures, including stores, stables and other domestic accommodation. The Ordnance Survey map of 1882 shows a small settlement occupying the site. A pathway is shown linking this settlement to the nearby lead mine to the North, which worked intermittently from 1852 to 1874. Apart from mounds of rubble from the demolished buildings, all that remains visible of this settlement is a square embanked enclosure with an adjoining small quarry and several associated shallow sunken tracks.
Robury Ring, Wentnor (SO39799321)
Unscheduled. Fortified Iron Age / Romano-British farmstead within a pair of concentric banks with external ditches now lost beneath modern farm buildings and concrete yards. Archaeological excavations have uncovered flint sherds and remains of a Bronze Age cremation urn, suggesting earlier occupation of the site. The 1890-91 OS map shows the feature clearly as an unspoiled oval earthwork feature.
Roveries, Lydham (SO32539248)
Scheduled Monument. Small univallate hill fort and an area of Neolithic occupation situated on the summit of Roveries Hill, a small rounded hill commanding the Camlad-Onny valley and the Lydham pass to the South-West of the Long Mynd. Oval in shape with maximum dimensions of 264m South-West to North-East by 110m North-West to South-East, giving an enclosed area of approximately 2.5 hectares. The defences are designed to make maximum advantage of the natural topography. They include a single substantial dry stone revetted rampart around the South-West, West and North sides of the enclosure. It averages 1.8m high on its inside and 3.8m high on its outside and has a largely silted up outer ditch 5m wide and 0.2m deep. Around the North-East quarter there is no inner bank, the hill fort relying for defence on the precipitous nature of the slope. There are three entrance breaks in the defences, in the North, South-East and North-West. The Northern is a fine example of a deeply in-turned entrance, the East and West sides of the rampart curling inwards to form a narrow entrance passage 24m long and only 3m wide. Such in-turned entrances were developed to ensure that any approach to the interior could be overlooked and controlled by guards on the flanking ramparts. Partial excavation of this entrance revealed that the sides of the entrance were revetted with well-structured drystone walling and that stone-built guard chambers were incorporated into the structure of the ramparts. Sections of the walling revealed by these excavations remain visible today. This entrance is approached by a length of causeway 100m long and averaging 5m wide which climbs the hill from the West. It curves into the entrance and appears to be contemporary with the defences. To the East of the entrance, on the outside of the main rampart, a berm up to 6m wide is cut into the slope some 20m below the top of the rampart, steepening the natural slope. This extends around the Northern quarter for some 60m before fading out. It appears to have been constructed to further strengthen the defences in the area of the Northern entrance. A second slightly in-turned entrance lies in the South-East quarter of the site, opposing the main North entrance. A portion of these entrance works was also excavated in 1935 to reveal drystone walling of similar construction forming a complex gate system. The third possible entrance in the North-West quarter of the site comprises a simple break in the rampart 5m wide. Although there is now no recognisable surface evidence of habitation, limited exploratory excavations undertaken in the central area of the interior demonstrated that archaeological evidence does survive in the interior of the site. As well as Iron Age material relating to the occupation of the hill fort, material from an earlier phase of settlement on the hilltop was also identified. A hearth associated with pottery from the Neolithic period was discovered in the centre, while further Neolithic pottery fragments were found beneath the Iron Age rampart near to the Northern entrance. These finds demonstrate that the hill had been occupied during the Neolithic period, some two thousand years before the later Iron Age community constructed the hill fort.
Unscheduled. The damaged remains of a substantial bivallate Iron Age hill fort on a rounded hill approached from the North-West, with very steep gradients on the East and steep slopes on the South-East. The edges of the hill are densely overgrown, the hilltop under barley. On the North-East side the field boundary consists of a wooded scarp 3-4m high with a gap some 5m from its South end on the edge of the slope down to the Coundmoor Brook. This scarp continues in the dense woodland at its North-East end and appears to return South-West towards the arable field from the edge of the scarp. Further earthworks here may indicate an entrance or later track, but undergrowth is too dense to see clearly. Further banks are present in the woodland but seem at least partly the result of quarrying. The overall dimensions are 240m North-West / South-East by 400m South-West / North-East. The defences enclose a triangular area of about 3.1 hectares. There is a complex in-turned entrance at the North-East corner. Much of the hill fort has been substantially modified by ploughing over the last 20 years. Virtually the whole of the defensive circuit on the North-West side, which served as a field boundary, was bulldozed flat about 16 years ago. This has left an exposed section through the Northern part of these defences. Stone quarrying has removed the South-Eastern part of the interior and a portion of the Southern defences. The sizeable defences on the Southern and Eastern sides, including the entranceway, are on the whole well-preserved and retain significant evidence about their construction. These defences are covered with trees. Continued ploughing within the interior is likely to have meant that only those features dug to a greater depth will survive.
Titterstone Clee, Bitterley (SO59517797)
Scheduled Monument. Remains of a univallate hill fort, which occupies a strong defensive position on the rounded summit of Titterstone Clee Hill. The hill itself is an imposing landmark formed by a basalt intrusion in the Carboniferous period. The archaeological remains which survive on the summit provide evidence that the site was in use as a focus of ritual activity in the Bronze Age. By the Early Iron Age it had become a centre for habitation and a system of defences encircling the hilltop had been constructed. These substantial stone walls continued to be developed and modified throughout the occupation of the site, the final phase being the construction of elaborate entrance gates. Maximum dimensions of 770m East to West by some 450m North to South, enclosing an area of 28 hectares, making it one of the largest hill forts in Shropshire even though it has been damaged along its Southern side by modern quarrying. Where the defences survive, they follow the terrain and were designed to enhance the natural strategic advantages of the topography. The rampart today remains visible largely as a tumbled stone wall forming linear scree running around the North and East of the hill summit. Excavations have identified four phases of construction. In the first period a timber-revetted earth rampart was constructed with timber entrances. During period two the defences fell into disrepair and appeared to have been partly dismantled. Period three saw a rebuilding of the rampart in stone and a remodelling of the gateways, with the construction of two stone and timber guard chambers flanking the main South Eastern entrance. There followed a period in which the fort continued to be inhabited but the defences fell into disrepair or were slighted. These phases can be dated by reference to dated features at other Marches hill forts to the period between the Late Bronze Age and the pre Roman Iron Age. The rampart is unusual in its method of construction, making extensive use of drystone walling to create what remains today an impressive perimeter defence. The large size of the enclosed area, one of the largest hill fort interiors in Shropshire, indicates that the site was of considerable importance during its life. Excavations have demonstrated that the monument still retains many internal features.
Upper Ridge, Chirbury (SO27919785)
Unscheduled. Possible Iron Age univallate hill fort, with indications of an earthwork rampart enclosing the summit of Ridge Hill. The OS map of 1902 indicates that this part of Ridge Hill has been subject to quarrying. A site visit confirmed that two West-East ditches cut across the ridge at this point, thus creating a defended hilltop enclosure. The West side of this enclosure may have been quarried away.
Upper Short Ditch, Churchtown (SO19158675)
Scheduled Monument. Linear boundary ditch surviving as an earthwork. It may pre-date Offa's Dyke, with which it is believed to be associated. It runs west of and parallel to the Lower Short Ditch, an earthwork which is thought to be similar in date and function. Part of the Upper Short Ditch lies in Powys.
Wall Camp, Kynnersley (SJ68091778)
Scheduled Monument. Large multivallate hill fort, situated on an elevated area of sandstone and boulder clay which is surrounded by an extensive area of peat that is derived from a former fen. Oval in plan, with overall dimensions of 590m North-South by 690m East-West. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 12 hectares. It’s size would suggest that it was the settlement of a very large community and its location, in the middle of a fen, provided an extra defensive advantage. The surrounding fen is also likely to have been an important source of food, particularly fish and fowl. The earthwork defences consist of multiple banks separated by ditches. The inner rampart defines a heart-shaped area, which reflects the natural shape of the elevated 'island' .The best preserved sections of this rampart are on the Western and Northern sides of the enclosure, and average 2m in height. Some parts of this defensive work have been modified by the creation of the road and by quarrying for soil. Much of the Southern and Eastern parts of the inner rampart have been reduced ill height by ploughing. The external ditch, which bounds the inner rampart, has largely been infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. A causeway about 8m wide through the inner rampart, at the South-Eastern corner of the fort, appears to have formed the original entranceway into the interior. Large sections of the earthworks appear to have been extensively remodelled at a later date in order to increase the lines of defence, particularly around the Northern half of the site. Where the land has not been cultivated, these outer earthworks are visible mainly as narrow, low and close-set banks separated by ditches. In the areas where the defences have been reduced in height by ploughing, these remains will survive as buried features. At a later stage during the occupation of the fort, a second entranceway into the interior was created. This involved the construction of a large flat-topped causeway across the North-Eastern sector of remodelled outer defences and over the inner rampart.
Walton Camp, Worthen (SJ30050572)
Scheduled Monument. Bivallate Iron Age hill fort sited, on an isolated knoll on the edge of higher ground. The settlement is situated at the Southern end of a spur, from where there are extensive views of the Rea Brook valley to the South and South-West, and the uplands beyond. Oval in plan with overall dimensions of 120m East-West by 145m North-South. The area defined by the defences is about 0.5 hectares, which in the Northern half falls steadily from North to South. The earthwork defences consist of two ramparts constructed of earth and stone, each bounded by external ditches with an outer bank around all of the circuit except to the North-East. In several places the rock-cut face of the inner ditch can still be seen. The defences stand to their greatest height around the Western and Southern parts of the circuit. Here, the combined maximum height of the inner rampart and the depth of the inner ditch measures 3.2m, while the combined measurement for the outer rampart and ditch is 2.3m. Around the whole of the circuit the outer ditch has been infilled and is visible as a shallow depression or as a terrace, and is defined by the external scarp of the outer bank. The ditch survives as a buried feature. The outer rampart and outer ditch along the Southern side are partly overlain by a later field boundary bank. On the Eastern side, the two ramparts have been reduced in height by later ploughing. The area of former cultivation extends across the interior of the settlement and is marked by a series of cultivation ridges aligned North-South. Also within the interior, and clearly pre-dating these cultivation remains, are a number of artificially created platforms, some of which are cut into the sloping ground. These platforms provided level areas for the construction of houses and ancillary buildings. The original entrance into the settlement lies on the Eastern side, and is defined by the ends of the outer rampart which turn inward. Next to the entrance, immediately to the East, is a sizeable linear depression, or hollow way, which partly cuts through the infilled outer ditch of the settlement. The hollow way runs around the lower slopes of the spur to the South and then continues northwards past the settlement. The deep profile of the hollow way has been formed by the regular passage of people, vehicles and animals over a considerable time, probably beginning early in the medieval period.
Wart Hill, Hopesay (SO40078477)
Unscheduled. Iron Age hill fort, situated on the summit of Wart Hill. Roughly three-sided with rounded corners and measuring overall 130m each way. Wart Hill was afforested some years ago and all but the Southern half of the interior, including the inner rampart bounding it, was levelled by ploughing and planting. The remaining stretch of the rampart, reduced to an outward facing scarp, is 9m wide and 2m high. A small fragment of the outer rampart remains either side of the footpath below the Southern angle of the work. This has similarly been reduced to a scarp, 6m wide and 1.3m high. Entrance apparently to North-East, including defences thought to be 4 low banks. Evidence for defences almost obliterated by larch plantation, subsequently felled.
Wilmington, Rorrington (SJ30060206)
Unscheduled. A double ditch hill fort encircling a hill, although on the South side the ditches fade out. To the South-East is a small rectangular enclosure, single ditched, within which is a small circular ring ditch. At the South-East corner is an entrance which appears to be in-turned.
Woodhouse Farm, Longden Common (SJ43830516)
Unscheduled. Possible Iron Age multivallate hill fort, with a possible entrance on its South-West side.
Wrekin, Little Wenlock (SJ63020830)
Scheduled Monument. Large multivallate hill fort, built to encompass the whole of the spinal summit of The Wrekin with extensive views in every direction. The overall dimensions are 150m North-West / South-East by 900m South-West / North-East. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 8 hectares. Its size indicates that it was occupied by a large community where centralised economic and social activities were practiced, including the storage and redistribution of food and the performing of ceremonies. The defensive strength is enhanced by its topographic location, with the surrounding ground sloping steeply in all directions. The earthwork defences consist principally of two ramparts with steep outer faces separated mainly by a narrow ditch. This ditch has been infilled but survives as a buried feature. Much of the material for the construction of the ramparts came from a quarry ditch located behind the inner rampart. Level areas created during the digging of this ditch would have provided suitable places for the construction of buildings. The remains of these buildings, within the partially infilled quarry ditch, will survive well as buried features. The tops of the ramparts are now mostly level and, in combination with the adjacent infilled ditches, have the appearance of terraces running around the sides of the hill. There is no outer rampart along the South-Eastern part of the circuit, where the increasing steepness of the hillside helped to create an effective barrier. Wherever possible, use was made of rock outcrops and cliffs by incorporating them into the lines of defence. There are two entrances into the fort. The one at the North-East end is known as 'Hell Gate'. Here, the ends of the inner rampart turn inward to form an entrance passage about 3.5m wide. The entrance passage at the South-West end is about 2m wide and flanked by a series of banks and ditches, now visible as low earthworks. This entrance is also overlooked by a sizeable rock outcrop on the Eastern side. Trenches dug through the defences found that the inner rampart was built of deposits of earth and stone and that two major periods of construction were represented. Some of the pottery discovered indicates that a settlement was established in the Late Bronze Age, in the 9th and 8th centuries BC, prior to the construction of the multivallate hill fort in the Iron Age. It is probable that this early settlement, like other contemporary examples located on prominent hills in the region, was enclosed by a palisade or a bank. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal associated with the post-built structures suggests that the multivallate hill fort was founded between the 7th and 5th centuries BC. Additional radiocarbon dates suggest that this part of the hill had ceased to be intensively occupied by the 5th or 4th century BC. It was during this period, or slightly later, that the inner defensive circuit was constructed around the upper portion of the summit.
Wynbury Castle, Longville in the Dale (SO56269424)