Park Hill Camp, Stourton
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
If you have been following this site for a while you will know that I cover a lot of Iron Age sites in Wiltshire. Whilst I was visiting White Sheet Hill near Stourhead I found a reference to Park Hill Camp, which is another Iron Age hill fort in the vicinity. But on closer inspection I discovered that it sits within the woodland of the Stourhead estate. Looking at the OS maps, you can clearly see a fort marked by a place called Park Hill right in the middle of the wood.
So I ventured out to find it. I parked by King Alfred's Tower and took advantage of a relatively clear day. I climbed up the 205 steps to the top and took in the view. I looked across towards the fort and could not make it out at all. But I did see plenty of other landmarks from the tower, and was amazed at how far I could see. To the West, I could clearly make out Glastonbury Tor (18 miles) and beyond that Hinckley Down power station on the North Somerset coast (40 miles). Looking north, I was able to zoom in with my camera and get a clear image of Roundway Down (30 miles).
After that we followed the paths deep into the woods of the Stourhead estate. The path snaked steeply down, before turning left and heading up a steep hill to the plateau on which the fort sits. The entrance to the fort was marked by an information board, which disclosed that the site has not been subject to an archaeological dig, so not much is known about it. The trees that once sat within the fort have mostly been felled to protect the site from root damage, but you can clearly make out the banks of the fort, although it is not as well marked out as some of the other hill forts in Wiltshire.
A quick aerial shot enabled us to see the structure more clearly, before we continued our walk through the woods back to the car. I have visited Stourhead many times before but never ventured deeper into the wooded parts of the estate and I was astounded at the size of it. This means I will be coming back to do more walking here, and more exploration in the future.
The best place to park is the car park by King Alfred's Tower. The follow the OS Map to find the paths that take you to the fort.