Grey and rainy all morning, but the sunshine came through by the afternoon. I did visit Perborough many years ago, so I knew where to go and how to get there.
The site is comprised of a hillfort and a lot of lumps and bumps on one side. Approaching the site you pass a barn and a huge pile of shit (not a good omen). The banks on the flatter land to the right are very distinct, and very angular. They stretch across the whole field which has a few clumps of trees scattered in it.
Crossing one of these banks you head up a steep slope and up towards the actually hillfort itself. The wind was a blowin' and I was glad I'd had a large lunch to keep me attached to the ground. The entrance was open and the bank of the hillfort has fencing atop it (all the way around).
The soil here is extremely flinty and very red in colour. A few sarsens are dotted around (although if they are contemporary with the hillfort or just ones moved out of the field to the edge by the farmer is anyone's guess) and strangely some old broken asbestos sheets (def not contemporary).
The ditch and bank doesn't seem to extend all the way around. It is more defined on half the site. The other side doesn't have much of a ditch or bank at all, and it would be easier to just walk into it from that side. If that was how it was originally, then maybe it only defends from attack from one general direction.
Part of the interior has been ploughed - it looks like someone's been practising for a ploughing championship.
The interior of the hillfort is not really flat, it seems to rise at the middle and slope down to the edge sharply on one side. The size of the interior seems like Uffington to me, but it must be smaller. The views are certainly stunning, you are surrounded by the 'downs' in the truest sense, with lots of wooded hills and valleys.
Walking back around to the entrance, you can really see the ditches below you in the field and there's lots of 'em.
Walking back to the motor with the wind blowing, I was glad I'd come here. It's less busy than Uffington (OK much less impressive), but it's nice to visit a hillfort and be on your own - you kinda get the place to yerself.
Very little seems to be written/known about the place and it wasn't included in the 'Hillforts of the Ridgeway' project by Oxford Uni in the 1990's. An enigma, but a pleasant one.
Westwood and Simpson, in their 'Lore of the Land' (2005), mention that a golden calf is supposed to be buried here. I wonder if it's got anything to do with the nearby Cow Down. They prefer biblical explanations. But I like mine.
From David Nash Ford - Berkshire History Website (www.berkshirehistory.com)
'There was a sizable community settled in Compton parish as far back as the bronze Age when banks and ditches were constructed around a settlement which, in the Iron Age, was turned into the hillfort of Perborough Castle. The inhabitants farmed the surrounding area quite intensively and a large number of field systems have been examined on nearby Cow Down.'