A massive thicket of vegetation laid before me, all the plants about 4.5-5’ high, with the exception of a single leggy tree standing gallantly from the centre of the circle. Dense didn’t come into it; and even more intriguingly, a very solid wire, timber and metal fence was built round the circumference of the site. The whole thing was inpenetrable.
The size of this pen was so vast, it had to be constructed on the line of the earthwork; but I couldn’t help wonder what the hell it was supposed to hold. It wasn’t a pheasant pen, as the height was too short, so after walking round half of it, I concluded that due to the construction of the access gate, it was intended for wild boar. Either that, or the estate are breeding compsognathus dinosaurs on the quiet.
As it was extremely hot, and I was sweating like a horse, I decided to retrace my steps, and head for The White House pub in Bladon. I thirsted for an ice-cold lager, and felt I’d earnt it, all things considered.
(SP 457138) Round Castle [NAT] Camp [NR] (1) Round Castle: a probable Iron Age hill fort of oval shape covering an area of about 2 1/2 acres. It had two lines of banks and ditches, but subsequent embanking and ditching make it impossible to be
exact about them, or about the position of its entrance. (2) The outer bank is slight, but the inner bank, of which only
a portion remains, measures 5ft in height from the bottom of the ditch. (3)
The remaining features of this probably originally bivallate enclosure are an almost complete internal bank with a recently
recut ditch and incomplete outerwork consisting again of a recut ditch but with a substantial scarp to the inside. These recent ditches pose a problem in that they virtually obliterate, or render difficult to identify, the extent of the original ditches; for this reason they are not, except where certainly part of the earthwork, shown on the survey. A further difficult in identification is caused by digging and surface quarrying around the west and north sides of the earthworks. As a result of material dumped in linear mounds it is impossible from visual inspection to ascertain which, if any, represent the alignments of the original banks.The site falls on the summit of a slight rise and though probably an IA fort the name "hillfort" in this instance is a misnomer. Divorced survey at 1:2500. (4)
SP 4570 1399. Salvage excavation of a section through the rampart showed it was constructed of clay with sand dump line, faced by thin stone walls 6m apart. Burning had taken place at the front of the ramparts. Early Iron Age pottery was obtained from the old ground surface. (5)
SP 45681380. The remains of a small multivallate hillfort known as Bladon camp. The hillfort defences include two concentric oval ramparts with outer ditches, enclosing an area up to 200 metres by 180 metres. Both ramparts are of stone rubble construction, partly levelled. The ditches have become partly infilled over time. The original entrances are not clearly defined but were probably located to the north western and south eastern sides of the site. A partial excavation was undertaken in 1988 and Early Iron Age pottery was recovered from the bottom of the ditch. Scheduled. (6)