August 5, 2020

The iron age ramparts

By aarondkey

I was walking in a forest the other day, down an obscure path when I spotted what looked like unmistakable signs of an enclosure of mud in a long rectangular shape – not big enough to be a fort but definitely something. Not really at the top of a hill either but just halfway up a hill.

I was trying to get closer to see clearer and my way was blocked by a barrier of thorny thin interlaced branches. My companion shouted out that the first embankment appeared to be a badger set. I was excited. I wanted to see (but not interfere) and so I twisted round quickly, got my legs entangled in the loose barrier hedge and fell over.

Fortunately, I mainly bounced and the thorns avoided my eyes. I did get a face full of a dog’s tongue as Daphne thought me lying on the ground was too good an opportunity to miss. Thanks Daphne! Investigations ended in embarrassment. I noticed small bruises on my legs the next day and wondered where they had come from. I remember now.

The going was getting no better and we decided to give up. The enclosure was about 20 feet by 50 and I am still consumed with curiousity.

It reminded me of another place I had once visited. Got lost on a small road looking for a place to stop with shade and saw the signs of an unmistakable embankment and a car park. Got completely lost there after, twice through a ford and eventually back to the place seconding as my home for a few days. I was intrigued, and gradually memory sunk in that I had been to this place before, a long time before – possibly when I was a child, I mean, not a previous life. Investigating I found out it was not Roman as I had first thought but an iron age hill fort (4th century BC) now completely surrounded by trees. I decided to go back, the way I had got there, not the way I had got back … eventually. It was truly beautiful. I’d show you pictures if I could get them to show (slight technical difficulties at the moment?)

This was Blackbury Camp in Devon. I recommend a visit if you’re in the area. But don’t you just love places you stumble upon by accident especially those hidden in forests?

As I can’t show you the picture you’ll have to do with this one – which for some obscure reaon does work and it’s quite nice, though completely irrelevant.