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Oldbury Castle, Cherhill

Cherhill Down has featured quite a bit in some of my other posts, not least the one about the Cherhill White Horse that sits upon its slopes. But I had also seen reference to Oldbury Castle, an ancient hillfort, that is situated in the vicinity of the Lansdowne Monument. It was only when I visited it from the rear, on a walk from Beckhampton Gallops that the shape of the hillfort came into view as the sun set. It was wonderful to finally see it materialise, and not just be a name on the map.

From this angle you can clearly see the double bank and ditch which so clearly defines the fort. The other side only has one bank, as the steep side of the hill provides a natural defence.

This site started out in 1,000BC as a bronze age enclosure, but during the Iron Age (around 500BC) it was developed into the distinctive hillfort shape that it so common on Wiltshire hill summits.

Archaeology on this site has revealed that it was inhabited over 2,000 years ago with the remains of round houses found within the fort. Today, it is home to the Lansdowne Monument, built in 1845 but now covered in scaffolding at the base as the National Trust try to raise funds to restore it.


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