A lovely sunny day and the chance of a half-day finish from work – result!
It has been a few years since I visited this CADW site and I was eager to return.
I parked, as before, on the verge near the entrance to Coombe Farm and made my way through the trees opposite. There is a large area to park in the trees but there are CADW warning signs that state you are not allowed to park here as it is private and in use by the farm.
Out the other side of the trees and over the wooden field gate. This is where things started to get tricky. The field was full of head high crop (rape I think?) so I skirted around the edge. Unfortunately the edge of the field was choked with chest high nettles – clearly no one had been this way for quite some time. It was difficult to hack my way through the nettles - particularly when wearing shorts – and they got the better of me a couple of times. Luckily there were plenty of dock leaves about!
I eventually reached the other side of the field and crossed through the woods. This was not only a lot easier but also a very pretty walk. The sun was shinning through the tree tops and the birds were singing. Once out of the trees I arrived at the field where the hillfort resides.
This time of year is not best suited to visiting this site. The hillfort is completely covered in wild grasses which are between waist and chest height. Despite this the banks and ditches are easy to make out; the outer bank is about 3m high (from the bottom of the ditch) whilst the inner bank is about 5m high (from the bottom of the ditch). From the top of the inner ditch you can see across most of the site.
Due to the long grass I didn’t bother exploring any further as I doubt I would have been able to see much. You would think that a CADW site (the public are encouraged to visit) would be better maintained than this. Better access is certainly required and a flock of sheep would do wonders to keep the grass down. A few sign posts would help too. Without an O/S map and a knowledge that it was here you would not find this place. I have previously raised these issues with CADW – why advertise / encourage people to visit a CADW site when the average person would never be able to find / access it? Predictably, the reply I had was less than satisfactory.
Still, I would recommend a visit by TMAers but best done in the winter months when the grass / nettles / crop wouldn’t be so much of an issue. For most people I would say you would be better off visiting the hillfort at Lodge Wood.
Easier to access and a lot more to see.
Posted by CARL
18th June 2014ce