This is one of those sites where, although I had been before, I always felt I had ‘unfinished business’ with. The last time I visited I was still new to visiting sites and I didn’t have the benefit of an O/S map. As a result I made the mistake of approaching the Hillfort from the south (no public right of way) and was worried about being spotted by someone in the farm opposite so I didn’t hang around long.
This was something I had wanted to put right ever since. Today was the day!
Going straight from work I drove through Rhiwsaeson and parked next to a field fate to the east of the Hillfort. There is a public right of way from this point via a kissing gate (Glamorgan Ridgeway Walk) which runs slightly to the north of the site.
I got out of the car and realised I had left my boots home. Luckily my wellies were in the car so problem solved. Through the gate I was met by a flock of sheep that were quite nervous of me. I reassured the sheep I meant no harm but it didn’t convince them and they soon scattered.
After a long day stuck in the office it felt good to back in the countryside once again. The sky was blue and there wasn’t a hint of wind. The sun felt warm on my back as I strolled up the hill. No fences/barbed wire or farmers to negotiate – this is the life!
I soon arrived at the outer ramparts and strolled clock-wise around the Hillfort. All was peaceful except the bleating of the sheep. I spotted several large stones scattered around the perimeter, one looked like a standing stone but no doubt it isn’t. There are good views to be had in all directions. Far below me I could see the busy roads full with rush hour traffic – boy was I glad to be here and not there. I even managed to pick my first blackberry – yes, it was sour!
Upon reaching the northern edge of the Hillfort I noticed a narrow track that had been made through the ferns by the sheep leading down the hill. They had worn away the grass and beneath the surface could be seen the banks of stones making up the ramparts. The inner ditch/rampart was about 2m deep and the outer ditch/rampart about 3m deep.
By the time I returned to the car all the stresses of the day were behind me. I guess I am lucky in that I am able to de-stress simply by taking a walk in the country. Some people have to resort to other, more harmful, ways. Not wishing to sound judgemental but I am sure my way would be preferential?
Caerau Hillfort is a good place to visit and comes highly recommended.
Posted by CARL
20th August 2013ce