25/03/2015 - Starting from Craven Arms train station we did the Three Woods Walk (in reverse and with a quick bob up View Edge) to visit Norton Camp. Link to the route below. If you have the time, it's a great way to visit the hillfort and take in the surrounding area including both hills mentioned in Rhiannon's folklore post. A story about giants always makes a visit better in my eyes.
Norton Camp is well worth a visit. One side looks over the ramparts, down a very steep 100 meters or so drop down to the valley below. A great natural defence. The rest of the hillfort is protected by a double rampart and ditch and they are massive. Must have been some place back in its day. You can walk round the outside of the ramparts (did I mention they were massive?) but the interior is a private field. The hill top is covered in trees and that makes for a lovely walk through. Best of all is that the stones and rocks used to build the ramparts of Norton Camp Iron Age hillfort contain shell fossils everywhere. What was once at the bottom of the sea, ends up in a fort rampart on top of a hill millions of years later, I like that.
Many years ago, all the country round about Stokesay belonged to two giants, who lived, the one upon View Edge, and the other at Norton Camp. Most likely they were brothers, for the land belonged to them both alike, and so did the money. They kept all their money locked up in a big oak chest in the vaults under Stokesay Castle, and when either of them wanted any of it he just took the key and got some out, and took the key back with him. And if the other one wanted it, he shouted to his brother on the other side to throw it to him, and then he went down and got some; and so they went on, throwing the key backwards and forwards just as they happened to want it. But at last, one day, one of them wanted the key, and the other had got it, so he shouted out to him to throw it over as they were used to do; and he went to throw it, but somehow he made a mistake and threw too short, and dropped the key into the moat down by the castle. They tried every way to find it, but they never did, and there it lies now at the bottom of the pool somewhere. Many have been to look for it, quite of late years even, but it has never been found. And the chest of treasure stands in the vaults still, so they say, but nobody can get into it, for there is a great big raven always sitting on the top of it, and he won't let anybody try to break it open, so no one will ever be able to get the giant's treasure until the key is found, and many say it never will be found, let folks try as much as they please.
I’m pretty sure this is the hill fort that was mentioned by the esteemed John Craven on ‘Countryfile’ last weekend in an article about better public access to a lot of the land to the East and South East of Craven Arms following agreements between local landowners and the local authority as part of an effort to create circular walks in the area and attract people to Craven Arms / Shropshire.
It is Scheduled Ancient Monument. Looking at the OS map it looks like it had pretty decent access around the outside anyway – maybe it’s the interior that is now permitted access as well?