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

Bredon Hill


Bredon Hill ... what a strange and magical place.

For a year in 1988/89 I lived in a farm cottage on its lower slopes, right underneath Kemerton Camp. I remember lying in bed at night listening to a strange unidentified hooting creature flying very slowly over the roof. Freaked the living daylights out of me. But it was a wonderful place to live. Great place for sun worship.

The hill is covered with relics of ancient activity, including two separate forts. Kemerton Camp is the largest, occupying the highest point of the hill on the north side, and making the most of a steep natural escarpment. The short stone tower on the top, known as Parsons Folly, dates from the late 18th century and was allegedly built to bring the height of the hill up to a round 1000ft, its natural height being 960ft. The slopes below the escarpment are covered in lumps and bumps, some of which are the foundations of an ancient village and some the remains of quarrying, and it's hard to tell them apart. According to my former next-door neighbour, a local farm worker, the village of Nafford was originally located up here but was abandoned and later rebuilt further down the valley next to the River Avon. Among the bumps is the outline of a small rectangular building ... a medieval pilgrim's chapel very close to the unassuming but still rather special St Catherine's Well.

Conderton Camp, on the SE side of the hill, is much smaller and quite secluded ... possibly a peace-time settlement because it's less obviously defended and has a very different feel to the larger fort.

There's also an earthwork on the lower NE slopes of the hill just outside the village of Elmley Castle.

Slightly less ancient, but really well worth a visit, are some of the 11th and 12th century carvings in the village churches around the hill. Most spectacular is Beckford parish church, which has carvings on its chancel arch of a creature with antennae that looks like an alien. In a more mundane style the porch at Elmley Castle has a really groovy rabbit.
Rebsie Posted by Rebsie
25th April 2006ce

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