Situated to the south of Leominster, off a minor road from the B4361
This was a bit of a strange one!
What looked like a straightforward visit to a Hillfort turned out to be nothing of the sort.
We drove north through the hamlet of Upper Hill and then turned right along the (private?) road leading to Gattertop Farm. There was then a turning on the left leading up towards the Hillfort. This was when the fun began.
The lane was little more than the width of the car and we soon approached a formidable large double gate which was clearly sending out the message of 'keep away – private'. This was confirmed by a number of 'private property' / 'no parking' / 'access only to paths by foot or horseback' signs along the road!
Unfortunately there was nowhere to turn around so I contemplated having to reverse all the way back down the hill. At this point Karen got 'twitchy' and pointed to what looked like a camera pointed at us. Then the gates suddenly opened – it was a sensor not a camera. I thought 'sod it' and decided to chance my arm to carried on driving forward – Karen was not impressed.
We drove up through the western defences and a ditch/ramparts approximately 3 metres high was clearly visible either side of the road. Once we arrived near the very posh house we were in the centre of the Hillfort. Now, I am sure that most of us have visited a Hillfort where the centre of the site is a large grass field. In this case it was a large 'bowling green' type lawn – complete with golf buggies to get around!!
The bank of the Hillfort surrounded the 'lawn' and the whole circumference was covered in trees. Fancy living inside a Hillfort – how cool is that?!!
I must admit that at this point I started to get 'twitchy' as well and decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned around and headed back down the hill. Then we approached the now closed gates! I had visions of having to walk up the house to ask to be let out – and all the explaining that would involve. Luckily the sensor worked this side as well and the gates swung open – phew!
We were soon back on a public road and could at last relax.
Looking at the O/S map the safest way to visit would be via the public footpath from Ivington Park. This looks as though you would be able to see the western defences although everything else looks to be private. Good luck!
Posted by CARL
5th September 2011ce