A cracking little place to visit with very easy access. There is a minor road running through the trees (and the hillfort) south of Hermatige. At the centre of the hillfort is a place to park and a very good information board near a large house. There are various paths you can take and the shortest walk to see the remaining ramparts will only take 2 minutes. The ditch/rampart is still quite impressive and well over head height. The ramparts can also be seen when driving through the southern defences. The message of the information board pretty well sums it up:
'Our past is precious - enjoy and respect it'.
An interesting site, with a road that drives straight through the heart of the fort. There are no views as, in so many cases, the hillfort is now covered in thick tree growth.
There is an information board near to an 18thC folly, called Grimsbury Castle, and a footpath across the road leads to one of the gates of the fort, where the fortifications and ditch can be clearly seen. Whilst I was there, a muntjac deer scurried past, totally at home in the environment.
I’m no expert on these things but I read that ‘Grim’ is a nickname given to Woden, who was held in awe by many Anglo-Saxons and had many sites thus named after him including this hill fort. Somewhere in the nearby woods there is supposed to be a bottomless pond in which lies a golden calf.
About three miles to the south of Hampstead Norris, and near to the hamlet of Wellhouse, is a large encampment called Grimsbury castle; it is of a circular form and was once undoubtedly a place of great strength.
Although situated on a high hill, yet it has within the ramparts a most beautiful spring of water which has never been known to be dry.
The entrenchment seems to have been extended on the south side of the hill for the purpose of enclosing this spring. This rampart appears to have had only two entrances, one on the north and the other on the south side; just within the entrenchment, at the entrance on the north, is a small tumulus, which was thrown up either as a mount of observation or defence, or for the purpose of interment.
Below the main entrenchment and near to the bottom of the hill, is another entrenchment which extends all round the north side: a ditch also crosses the high ground on the south side of the hill, which was most likely intended as a sort of outwork, it being a considerable distance from the main rampart..
p219 of The History and Antiquities of Newbury and Its Environs, published by Hall and Marsh (1839).