I had to wait in the car today for a rare (for this area) snowstorm to pass before I could walk to the fort. The light dusting showed the ditch and bank clearly from afar. What is more obvious is that the barrows clearly dominate the skyline for miles around. The fort builders obviously lived in harmony with these relics from an earlier age. The three tumuli in the top look as though they have been robbed in the past, the usual depression in the top, but next door there is a peculiar circular depression with a small bank about 10 M across. Is this the remains of a Bowl barrow or could it be a dew pond? Near the E entrance there is a new (?) circular pond. Near the two entrances are scattered about 13 other barrows. Geophys has found nearly 70 hut platforms on the site. After the blizard had gone the sky cleared and the views were spectacular, I could see Beacon Hill, another fort just outside Newbury and with better eyesight perhaps the barrows on St. Catherines Down on the I.O.W!
Must come here again when the wind chill is not -10 and explore the whole National Nature Reserve.
This large hill fort is situated on a spur of chalk downland just to the E of the River Meon and was probably built as a tribal centre for the valley. It covers an area of about 14 acres with the ramparts following the contours of the hill. The ditch and bank are well preserved and have two entrances E and W where the bank is also higher and incurved. The ground falls steeply on all sides except the E.
Within the fort are three large barrows and a possible Bowl barrow. A long barrow is situated at the bottom of the hill to the SW. The fort has never been excavated but is probably Iron Age.
The views are magnificent covering most of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Disabled: Dedicated parking, gently sloping access on grass and tracks to centre of site.
In the 2nd century BC it may have been a tribal centre, and a tradition grew up that it was intended to be the original site of Winchester, but the building materials brought here were mysteriously transported 10 miles to the north-west, where Winchester was finally built.