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Sutton Walls



A small bubble-burst regarding the Ethelbert story:

"Around AD25, the ramparts were raised and the huts rebuilt on the same layout. Then, as Roman power extended into the area in the middle of the first century AD, a grisly episode in the history of the settlement occurred. As the Roman army advanced, the ditch at the western entrance was hurriedly recut. Immediately afterwards, many battle-scarred bodies -some of which were decapitated - were thrown into the ditch and covered with a layer of soil. It seems the Romans, under Ostorius Scapula, attacked the settlement, massacred the inhabitants and pulled down the defences over them.


Excavation has revealed no evidence of Saxon occupation to support the folk-tale that Sutton Walls was the site of one of Offa's palaces. The story of Ethelbert's bloody murder may represent a hazy folk-memory of of the actual slaughter which took place there many centuries earlier, though recent work has suggested that Offa may have had a palace at Freens Court, just below the ramparts of Sutton Walls*."

From "Prehistoric Sites of Herefordshire" - George Children and George Nash (1994 Logaston Press).

*On the 1:25000 OS at SO521458 there is a "moat" near Freens Court Farm, not sure if this is relevant.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
6th February 2009ce

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