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

Sodbury Camp



Pleasant day after the bitterly cold spell (a positively balmy seven degrees) today I met with my Cotswold Walking friend. We headed to south Gloucestshire via the village of Sherston then on to Old Sodbury on the Cotswold Way.
There is a clearly way-marked track up to the hill-fort; snow and ice thawing fast though ground still hard, quite slippy in places.
A pair of ravens flew overhead as we drew close to the hill-fort which I believe is quite rare to see in this part of the world. Our visit was spontaneous so I knew nothing in advance about Sodbury Camp hillfort - when reading up on it before writing this fieldnote I came across this passage - copied from the Northstoke Blog:

It is an amazing place, the ground is as flat as a pancake, 24 acres (according to Nicholas Thomas's Guide to Prehistoric England) he describes it thus;

"Its outer bank and ditch are iron age; the earthworks at the S.W. end enclosing 12 acres are probably Roman. In places the inner (Roman) bank is 10 foot high. Original entrance to the I/A camp is approached by a track up the escarpment along the N.W.side of the camp (the one already described). It enters just S.W. of the N. corner of the pre-Roman earthwork; here there are in-turned banks defining it. Date of pre-Roman earthwork; 3rd to 2nd century B.C. Traces of earthwork to the N belong to deserted medieval village" (Unquote) Very helpful notes - thanks Moss.

We initially walked around the outer bank until coming upon a group of horses from a nearby smallholding. Somewhat deterred by two large barky guarddogs and a fence across the outer ditch we moved back to the inner bank. Spotted a couple of large mature yews on the sides of the inner banks - seemed unusual for a hillfort - usually hawthorn and blackthorn are predominant bushes.

I really enjoyed this visit - a manageble short walk from Old Sodbury which was just what I needed - last time I was out, slipped on a stile (bruised leg, jarred neck) its easy to get out of the habit of walking to ancient sites.
tjj Posted by tjj
10th December 2010ce

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