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

Castle Ring



Been meaning to come here for ages, Cannock Wood being not far from the M56 junction of the M6 'n all. But you know how things are? Well, finally made it on the way back to Essex from Cumbria - a bit of a pain to find without an OS map - but well worth the effort for hillfort fans.

Now Sunday morning's probably not the best time to come here, judging by the hordes of local dog walkers letting their stinking creatures do their 'business' all over the ramparts, but there you are. 'Take your opportunities while you can' has always been my motto.

So what of the hillfort, if understandably somewhat lacking in vibe? Actually I'm impressed. A large, powerful inner rampart is fully accessible (shame about the outer defences, however), the gorgeous autumn colours of Cannock Chase adding a, well, gorgeous backdrop. Why, even the cooling towers of Rugeley Power Station do not particularly detract from the scene as I munch my chicken and mushroom slice at the highest point. The defences appear bi-vallate at this point (to the north), multiplying to at least three - possible more - ramparts and ditches at the more vulnerable southern approach. Trouble is the fern cover is so extensive it's difficult to be certain. I make the main entrance to be at the eastern end - traces of 'barbican' outworks? - but whether this is original? Hard to be sure with such accessible sites.

So, probably not worth a long drive to get here, but well worth a diversion if travelling up/down the M6!
8th November 2009ce
Edited 8th November 2009ce

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