As the hill is now owned by the National Trust they have thoughtfully provided a small car park with adjacent information board giving details of local flora and fauna. A metal gate from the car park gives access to the hill and then it is simply a case of following the ‘path’ uphill. Once across the open ground the ‘path’ goes through trees before coming out the other side and the top of the hill. It only takes 15 minutes to walk from the car park to the top of the hill but it is quite steep. By the time I reached the top I was huffing and puffing like a good ‘un – you would have thought I had just climbed Everest! I am definitely not as young or fit as I used to be!
The first thing you notice when you get to the top is a rather ugly concrete seating shelter. This was built in memory of the son of the Reverend who donated the hill to the National Trust who was killed during the first world war. On top of said ugly shelter is another N.T. information board giving details of the hillfort. It mentions the small ‘hollows’ throughout the site which are the bases of the many round houses which occupied the site. I spotted a few but to be honest if it wasn’t for reading about them on the information board I wouldn’t have known they were there.
The weather was very Spring-like with a warm sun and blue sky. However the wing was still cold. To the north you can see the Malvern Hills stretching out in front of you. The Shire Ditch is easily seen snaking its way along the top of the hills. To the east, west and south you can see for miles. Only the far distant horizon was blurred by haze. Although there were several cars in the car park I had the place to myself. All was quiet – not even birdsong for company.
Where the ramparts had been cleared of trees and bushes the single bank from the inside was still approximately 1.5m high in places. Other sections of the defences are still overgrown and it was difficult to tell what condition they are in? I couldn’t stay as long as I would have liked as we had to get back to pick the children up from school and I also wanted to see the ancient yew tree in the churchyard at Much Marcle (well worth seeing – as are the medieval effigies in the church itself)
Provided you are reasonably mobile this is an easy enough hillfort to visit and the views certainly make the effort worthwhile. This was my first bit of ‘old stoning’ of the year and it felt good to be back out in the countryside again. Roll on next month when I have a week in Cornwall to look forward to……
From Shire Archaeology's excellent Hillforts of England and Wales book by James Dyer.
"Rectangular four-poster huts, some measuring 2.4 by 3.6 metres, apeeared at at Credenhill and Midsummer Hill in the fourth century BC. Most of the latter fort's 12 hectare site was filled with them. S.C. Stanford has used the probable number of huts to estimate the total population of all the Herefordshire hillforts in the mid fourth century BC. This could have been about 25,000, with perhaps 18,000 in the neighbouring Shropshire forts."
You get great views of British Camp from this hillfort and wonder what the relationship was between these two contour hillforts. When entering the fort, which is approached from the Worcestershire Way, take the small path running East which can be easily overlooked. Carry on walking past the enterance and enjoy the amazing views all around the Malverns. The ramparts are impressive and use the contour of the hill as part of its defence/structure(?).
We walked there whilst at the Big Chill festival which is only a mile or so away. If you know it, walk up the Art Trail and carry on past the Obelisk and then to a gate which leads up to the hillfort.