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

Nottingham Hill



A little off the beaten track and much less visited than its neighbour Cleeve Hill, Nottingham Hill is a spur off the main Cotswold ridge a few miles outside Cheltenham.

The whole of the top of the hill is fortified, but the shape of the hill along with various field boundaries make it impossible to see the enclosure in its entirety. But there are some double banks and ditches, and no shortage of interesting things to look at. The slopes are covered with lumps and bumps from stone quarrying ... some of which are ancient and colonised by some strange and wonderful trees.

The highest point of the hill is an open field with a cairn at the top (not of any great age, but nice) and a fantastic 360° panoramic view covering the Malvern ridge, Bredon Hill, Cleeve Hill, the Cotswold ridge, various other local hills and distant Welsh mountains. Our ancestors certainly knew a good fort site when they saw one.

Nottingham Hill seems to have escaped attention in guide books and is one of Gloucestershire's better kept secrets. I'd venture to suggest there's a bit of a goddessy thing going on there. The earth is full of holes, dips and openings. The lower slopes (particularly on the N and E sides) are liberally dotted with springs, some of which are the sources of local brooks and streams. Most of the trees around the fort are elder, hazel or thorn. There's also a very strange grove of trees on the southern edge just below the fort, where almost all the trees are hollow or have holes in them, growing in the dips and hummocks left by quarrying. Some are small finger-sized holes, some cup-shaped holes with grass and violets growing in them, some large oval holes right through the tree. With gorgeous views over the Severn Valley to go with it, it's an incredibly evocative place.
Rebsie Posted by Rebsie
24th April 2006ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment