|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.
Posted by tjj
10th December 2010ce