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Woodbury Hill



Details of hillfort on Pastscape

Woodbury (SY 856948) is a contour hill-fort which occupies the entire flat top of the gravel-capped spur called Woodbury Hill 360ft above OD, 1/2 mile E of the parish church. The area enclosed is about 12 acres. The defences, though now much broken down, consist of a main inner rampart, at best 40ft wide and 19ft high above a single ditch, 5ft deep and 30ft wide, and a relatively massive counterscarp bank up to 26ft across, beyond which the ground falls steeply on the E side and greater part of the S side. On the NW there is a sloping shelf between the ramparts and the steep face of the hill. On this shelf is a series of rather flat-topped parallel ridges 1ft high, 10 yds or so wide and about 50 yds long, divided by furrows about 4ft wide. These are more likely to be connected with the annual sheep fairs once held in the hill-fort (Hutchins I, 135) than with agriculture. To the N a gently dipping but fairly narrow saddle connects the spur with the main ridge. At this vulnerable point the outer bank seems to have been thrust about 70 yds forward from the main rampart but the remains have been heavily ploughed. In the lane to the NE is a double fall which might mark the line of a ditch but this cannot be confirmed.

The present road in from the SW probably follows the line of an original entrance, and possibly does that at the NE; but all the other breaks in the defences seem to be secondry. The surface of the interior is uneven in many places but it is impossible to detect anything certainly ancient. The chapel shown on the plan certainly existed in the early 15th century and its footings were still traceable in the late 18th century (Hutchins, ibid). The nearby well was traditionally associated with it.
Chance Posted by Chance
24th May 2014ce

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