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

Haresfield Camp



Visited on a lovely early spring day (1.3.2009). This is an interesting multi-phase site, strung out along a westward promontory of the Cotswold edge. Approached from the east, from Scottsquar Hill, Haresfield Camp itself is non-existant (I'm not even sure where it was). To the south of the road, the OS map shows two round barrows in a grassy field - of these only one is discernable, as a very low rise against the natural contour. Just past here is a parking area, used primarily as access to the Topograph at SO827083. The prehistoric interest starts further west along the road.

The Bulwarks

An unusual feature of the approach to the fort is that the land actually slopes down to it from the east. The first defensive feature, known as The Bulwarks, lies to the north of the road and comprises an impressive ditch and well-preserved rampart. There are two gaps along the length, which may be original entrance gaps. The northern end of the rampart meets the edge of the escarpment, giving natural defences along the northern side of the fort.

Ring Hill

Continuing west, you reach another, much bigger, defensive line. This comprises a double rampart of enormous, awesome scale, particularly when seen from the road running NW-SE along the eastern side of this feature. From the field enclosed within this there are good views of May Hill, The Malverns, Gloucester and Churchdown Hill. The Cotswold Way footpath runs along the naturally steep southern edge of this section of the fort, which tapers with the natural contour at the western end. A nicely proportioned round barrow (Haresfield Beacon), capped with an unusual stone-built OS trig point, marks the high point. It's always interesting to speculate on what the Iron Age occupants made of the remains of their Bronze Age predecessors. Today, sitting in the sun in the solitude of the fort, I couldn't imagine a nicer place to sit and speculate.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
1st March 2009ce
Edited 10th June 2013ce

Comments (2)

They've been clearing scrub below the topograpgh, to the right of the trackway leading down, uncovering a 'bronze age barrow" so the sign in the carpark says. Not indicated on the OS map as a barrow, and seems a bit odd half way down the slope... can't see anything in the press about it though Posted by tim50stroud
30th December 2010ce
Interesting to know Tim, but does seem a bit odd. Will perhaps get out that way over the next couple of months - I've been neglecting the Cotswolds. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
31st December 2010ce
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