By in Random

Living in the shadow of an Iron-Age hill fort

went to a local history talk in our village last week and the speaker asked if we knew there was an Iron Age hill fort on our doorstep.

Well a few said they had heard there was one but knew very little. So we were thrilled to be enlightened.

It turns out that on the 800 foot hillside above the village lies one of the ‘top ten’ sites hill forts in the country and the largest in the north of England. The site dates back to 400 BC, covers 60 acres and was once surround by a ditch and perimeter rampart, topped by a wooden palisade, stretching 1.3 miles. Built by the Brigantes tribe it was probably inhabited until the Roman conquest of northern Britain in the first century.

The top of the bank was flattened in the early 1960s for use as a grass landing strip for gliders so much of the ditch and ramparts have disappeared but the walk along the edges above the White Horse with views across to the Pennines and down the Vale of York does follow an undulating path which was once part of the ramparts.

One of my favourite walks for years, only I was unaware of where I was actually walking.

Just goes to show eh!

photographs Copyright 2015 by Antony J Waller


Image Credit » Photographs Copyright 2015 by Antony J Waller

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Comments

Kasman wrote on January 22, 2015, 3:35 PM

There is one near where I live as well as two hilltops which have been fortified in ages past. The only real sign of the hill fort is the faint ring of a defensive ditch around it and the tops of the hills have big piles of stones near the summits; fist-sized stones just right for throwing . . .

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 3:38 PM

We also have three grass banked henges nearby too, thought to be the same age as Stone Henge and aligned with Orion, but that's another story!

Squidwhisperer wrote on January 22, 2015, 4:06 PM

So what were people previously assuming that the White Horse was - an overly-ambitious pub advert?

Koalemos wrote on January 22, 2015, 4:10 PM

I would assume that you are living in Huddersfield because I know that it had a large Brigandtii settlement in pre Roman days.

GedWrites wrote on January 22, 2015, 4:11 PM

You need an airial view sometimes just to see these amazing places.

BeadDoodler wrote on January 22, 2015, 4:34 PM

Your country is so rich in history, I think it's a shame that local schools don't pick out their own history and teach it. Here in the US, there isn't the same kind of history, but people living in areas with ancient cultural landmarks are rarely aware of the history of the places.

zabelle51 wrote on January 22, 2015, 5:23 PM

I wasn't aware of that, I know there are some down on the plains near Salisbury but this is the first I heard of this, pretty exciting. :)

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:38 PM

An attempt to copy the southern chalk lands.

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:41 PM

Further east between Thirsk and Helmsley, where the lands of the Briganti bordered those of the Parisi.

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:44 PM

Try looking at an aerial view of the three henges at Thornborough near Ripon. Amazing!

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:47 PM

You're absolutely right. And in this instance there is one tiny marker which points to the hill fort and that's it!

NorthernLight wrote on January 22, 2015, 6:48 PM

Evidently North Yorkshire is the most important areas for remains of this period between Stone Henge and the Orkneys.

Koalemos wrote on January 22, 2015, 7:01 PM

Then I am mistaken because I was thinking of Castle Hill.

JustEm wrote on January 22, 2015, 7:19 PM

Well that is most certainly an interesting piece of history, beautiful pictures too.

NorthernLight wrote on January 23, 2015, 2:38 PM

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. On a clear day the views from the top are amazing!

mrsmerlin wrote on January 23, 2015, 4:29 PM

Such a beautiful part of the world

NorthernLight wrote on January 23, 2015, 4:39 PM

Sshhh, don't tell everyone!

UK_Writer wrote on January 23, 2015, 5:12 PM

I lived near one a few years back. I'd seen a sign on the road pointing into a field, so one day I'd ventured in there. I parked in what looked like a space between two barns with some assorted rotting farm machinery and tried to work out where I should be looking. It turned out to really be a field, with a bit of a small slope round it about 3' high. Wasn't impressed. It was some years later that I read what it was ... certainly not worth the cost of the sign that the local authority had put up on the road. I pity any tourists who thought it was worth visiting and who set out to try to find it.

NorthernLight wrote on January 23, 2015, 6:00 PM

That probably about sums it up, but when you visit one like say Maiden Castle near Dorchester you can't fail to be impressed by the sheer size and scale.

UK_Writer wrote on January 23, 2015, 6:33 PM

That's near me. I'll try to remember to look that up on a map and next time I'm passing (in about 2 months' time) if it's not too far off the road and if it's not raining, I might have a peek.

NorthernLight wrote on January 23, 2015, 9:28 PM

Made a good walk and it had a great view from the top when we visited a few years back. Hope it stays fine for you.

vickywrites wrote on January 24, 2015, 12:20 PM

Amazing pic. Your historical references to this site is quite interesting.

NorthernLight wrote on January 24, 2015, 1:01 PM

Thank you. Yes, it must have been an amazing sight in its day with ramparts up to 11 feet high. I don't think many artefacts have been found, the inhabitants tended to be nomadic.

Magnolia wrote on January 24, 2015, 10:51 PM

That is amazing! I am so glad you discovered it and shared it with us.

valmnz wrote on January 25, 2015, 2:55 AM

How exciting to be living amongst such exciting history. Our New Zealand history certainly doesn't go back that far.

NorthernLight wrote on January 25, 2015, 5:07 AM

You're welcome. It would be nice if a few information boards were erected so a few more knew it was there as they pass by.

NorthernLight wrote on January 25, 2015, 5:10 AM

Over the centuries many have left their mark on our local landscape here in North Yorkshire and they are always finding more. We are very lucky.

GedWrites wrote on January 25, 2015, 10:03 AM

I will one day, I might even take a balloon ride over you great Yorkshire because there is so much to see.

arthurchappell wrote on January 29, 2015, 8:41 AM

a thrilling place to live - so steeped in history

NorthernLight wrote on January 29, 2015, 2:13 PM

Yes, it's all around and if you're not careful you start to take it for granted.