Leaving the village, the route crosses muddy and wet fields, in what is becoming the noticeable feature of the Way so far. I’m soon climbing up more steeply, into deeper snow above the 100m mark. Broadway is disappearing into the gloom below. Once through the winter wonderland of Broadway Coppice, it’s time for my first – minor – diversion of the day. Leaving the Cotswold Way, a footpath skirts the southwestern edge of the field. The rampart of the fort comes into view once the crown of the hill has been rounded.
Carl notes that there isn’t much to see here, apart from a single rampart. All true, but this is a fairly typical promontory site, with three sides defended by the natural scarp of the hill and only one rampart needed across the dip slope of the “neck”. The single rampart isn’t the most impressive you might see, topped with very mature trees and no doubt eroded from its original height. It no longer extends across the full length of the field, presumably a victim of ploughing. There is a ditch on the outer, northeastern, side. The footpath crosses the rampart at its northwestern end, and then runs directly across the featureless interior – especially featureless in the snow today! Once at the south of the fort, the ground drops away steeply and there is a good view of Buckland village below.
I walk back around the southwestern and northern perimeter. There’s little evidence of any counterscarping and the site is not the most obviously defensible. However, various recorded finds of pottery, flints and a saddle quern suggest occupation over a long period, perhaps at times where defensive capability was not the primary focus. Certainly worth the minimal effort of the diversion today.
Following a pleasant couple of hours in the picturesque town of Broadway we headed south to a nearby Hillfort I had spotted on the O/S map. Taking a minor road towards the Buckland Hotel (posh) we continued along a narrow lane as far as Burhill Farm. We decided to play safe and park here as we didn't know how good (or bad) the lane would become? As it happens the lane was fine and we could have driven all the way to the top of the hill where there is room to park in front of a field gate. It was only a 10 minute walk.
Once at the top of the hill, the lane goes sharp to the right but I headed to the left along the Cotswold Way – well marked. Upon arriving at the site I was disappointed to find there was not a lot to see. All I could make out was one 'rampart type' mound approximately 10 metres long x 1 metre high. I cannot say for certain if this was all that is left of the otherwise ploughed out defences or something natural?
Although the site is easy to access there is little to recommend a visit, there wasn't even much of a view to be had! Time to move on…….