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Caer Caradoc

Hillfort

<b>Caer Caradoc</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (24.11.2016)
Also known as:
  • Chapel Lawn

Nearest Town:Knighton (4km SSW)
OS Ref (GB):   SO309758 / Sheets: 137, 148
Latitude:52° 22' 31.54" N
Longitude:   3° 0' 54.62" W

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There is a high risk of repeating Carl here, word for word, so I will try to dodge words like wonderful, fabulous, and idyllic. But it will not be easy, because he is absolutely spot on.

We parked near Wax Hall west of the fort, blocking an unused gate by the road, then walked to the first foot path leading to the east and passes the fort on it's north side, I think that still left one fence to jump though, maybe.
We entered the fort through the eastern entrance, shades of iron age peasants applauded our arrival, or it might have been a strong wind, which might also have been rather cold.
Neither of us were expecting such deep ditches and high banks, there's at least two Caer Caradoc's in Shropshire, I've been to the other one two or three times, it's not anyway near as good as this one, I really should have been here years ago.
So with a mixture of incredulity and awe upon our faces we followed the lower rampart west on the forts south side. A small Hawthorn tree still bearing bright red berries autumned its way by us as we moved west, Jim of the doors was right the west is the best. Soon enough we arrive at the western entrance, like Carl we were reminded heavily of Maiden Castle, no not that one, the big one. The west gate is a complex of deep ditches running away from the central walkway, high banks in between, it really is quite fab, aah I mean amazing, that was close.
I spotted a pair of shadows following us, so I photoed them, I waved but got no return. Entering the fort through the massively impressive west gate we walked round the interior, passing a shake hole? or abandoned mine shaft or ritual area or hole, yes, it was definitely a hole, and on to look out through the eastern entrance where we first came in. Then it was back to the super entrance and then follow the rampart back east along the northern side. Along this northern rampart we spotted at least three house platforms, I think that's the proper speak, if not, then they were the site of some kind of building, cannily hidden out of the wind. The sun began to come out from it's cloudy hiding place, when it shone upon the trees across the valley illuminating the yellows, browns, and reds of autumn, shining upon the wet grassy fields, it was better than good. Almost said idyllic then.
After walking along the triple set of banks we were back at the eastern entrance, we had performed the obligatory circuit of the fort, the very least a visitor should do at a hill fort. But it was getting later in the day and there is a site with a name that burns a deep hole in my obsessive mind, he has an armchair you know.
postman Posted by postman
27th November 2016ce
Edited 27th November 2016ce

Visited 9.8.11

I really don't know where to start with this site report.
I was completely blown away by this Hillfort
It is simply a wonderful place to visit – fabulous.
In fact I would go as far to say that this was one of the best Hillforts I have ever been to, perhaps second only to the mighty Maiden Castle (this has better views).

Situated just outside the hamlet of Chapel Lawn, access is fairly easy although I did have to climb over two barbed wire fences. (15 minute walk)
You can park at the field gate and follow the rough track uphill. When you come to the next gate you will see the top of the ramparts sticking out on the horizon.
I continued to follow the track straight up towards a small copse of trees and then walked along the top of the hill, requiring the climbing over the fences. Perhaps if I had followed the permissive footpath to the north of the Hillfort and then headed uphill I may have avoided having to do this?

Why did I like this site so much?
Firstly, it is in very good condition. The northern defences consists of 3
Ramparts / ditches – very well preserved. The outer rampart being about 5 metres high from the bottom of the ditch, the middle rampart about 6 metres and the inner rampart a mighty 9 metres high! Amazing they have survived so well.
Secondly, the views – WOW!!
I sat on top of the inner rampart and just admired the scenery in front of me. Fields fading miles into the distance like a green patchwork quilt – the odd field dotted with sheep or cows. The shadows of the clouds slowly making their way up the valley. Birds of prey screeching and hovering overhead. Butterflies dancing across the tall grass and pockets of gorse – idyllic.
I could have happily spent hours here but needless to say that was never possible with Karen and the children waiting patiently for me back in the car. This is one site I will definitely re-visit in the future when I have more time to spend here.
This has to be the best site I have visited this year. Certainly the one which has had the most effect on me. I can't recommend a visit highly enough. Wonderful.
Posted by CARL
11th August 2011ce

Although the views are not in quite the same league as its namesake near Church Stretton (although the beautiful Shropshire landscape is always worth writing home about nonetheless), this lovely hillfort is arguably a superior example of the genre, relying entirely on its own defences.

These are pretty formidable, it has to be said, two banks and ditch being supplemented by an additional bank and two more ditches (I think) on the more vulnerable northern flank. The entrances are at the eastern and western ends of the enclosure, the western being more heavily fortified.

Sited overlooking the village of Chapel Lawn, somewhat to the north-east(ish) of Knighton, it would appear that very few come here - the cows were certainly most put out by my appearance..... Not signposted (at the time of my visit, anyway), leave the A488 at New Invention for Chapel Lawn and take the first sharp right, parking at a kink in the road where a footpath heads off to the east. The hillfort crowns the, er, hill in front. Enjoy.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
1st July 2009ce