The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Liddington Castle



A three hour walk north along the Ridgeway from Avebury brings you to the edge of the Marlborough Downs and the foot of Liddington Hill. Liddington Castle Hillfort will be a familiar landmark to many as it is visible to the south of the M4 motorway between junctions 15 and 16. At 3 hectares it is somewaht smaller than the nearby Barbury Castle (4.7 hectares) and has only one ditch rather than two. It is however considerably quieter, is about 50 foot higher and offers better views of the Marlborough Downs than Barbury. An entrance at the south east is defined by a few half buried sarsens. Pottery from the early Iron Age has been found here and on the northern escarpment are some neolithic flint mines.

Walking up the hill from the Ridgeway the flint mines are encountered after a couple of minutes and mole hills regularly bring flint waste to the surface.

This visit (31/12/02) was my first time here for about 20 years. The erosion to the site is noticeable as is the vandalism to the Triangulation Point which used to double up as a memorial to local writer Richard Jefferies. Jefferies famously came up here to write. Despite the proximity of the motorway and onward march of Swindon (the settlement and not, unfortunately, the football club) this remains a fine spot for quiet contemplation.


My 7 year old son got very confused here. As we walked up to the castle I recounted the story of King Arthur's victory here in the battle of Mons Badonicus. On spotting a memorial gate to Harry King (1910-1995) "who loved to walk on Liddington" my son quite justifiably asked why King Arthur didn't have a gate but King, Harry did.
RedBrickDream Posted by RedBrickDream
2nd January 2003ce
Edited 3rd January 2003ce

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