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Capler Camp

Hillfort

Also known as:
  • Woldbury

Nearest Town:Ross-On-Wye (9km SSE)
OS Ref (GB):   SO592329 / Sheet: 149
Latitude:51° 59' 33.22" N
Longitude:   2° 35' 39.39" W



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Fieldnotes

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Visited 29.8.11

Directions: Just to the south east of the village of Fownhope, not far from Cherry Hill Camp Hillfort. Heading down the B4224 you will see a sign for Caplor Farm farmshop. Take this turning and there is plenty of room to park in the car park. (unfortunately the shop was closed when we arrived which was a shame as myself and Karen quite fancied a cuppa!)

From here the well signed public footpath leads you straight to the Hillfort. Once through a field of sheep it is a case of trudging up the steep muddy path leading through the trees up to the top. This is greatly helped by the 66 steps kindly provided.
Once at the top of the steps you will see an old barn. Turn right and you are there!

The Hillfort itself is not very big and has a sort of large 'hole' in it on the northern side – looks like a bit of quarrying at some point? There is no need for defences on the northern side due to the very steep incline. A fence runs all along this side of the site.
The bank surrounding the rest of the site is clear to see and it bears the trace of lots of feet walking along the top of the ramparts – a nice enough little walk.

This is definitely a place to visit at Christmas time as there was plenty of holly with berries in evidence as well as a large clump of mistletoe.
When arriving back at the car I tried to use the mistletoe's 'magic' on Karen who quickly informed me that the 'magic' only worked at Christmas time!!
Posted by CARL
31st August 2011ce

Folklore

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The visitors [to Woldbury Camp] were soon engaged in examining its embankments, considering the water supply, and taking the height of the summit, where stood that now familiar object, an Ordnance Survey pole. The papers were to be read beneath the yew trees on the large south-western embankment, where "the British Chieftain was buried," said a resident on the spot.
From 'Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club (1883-85).
In a fantastically patronising touch, the report finishes by listing all the gentlemen who attended, "with a sprinking of natives, who came to listen to the papers, and pick up a few crumbs of science, and who, it is believed, listened with much gratification to the many-syllabled words introduced on the occasion." I fear people with that kind of attitude are alive and well in 2011 and employed in the government :)

And not folklore, but certainly a weird occurrence, that in April 1793, there was a massive landslide (quoted from p48):
.. the ground sank fifty perpendicular feet, and then moved forward. It was witnessed by a labourer, who, when working near a hedge, found the ground moving, and at the same moment heard a loud noise resembling a distant hailstorm. Running from his work towards the river, across a narrow meadow, he observed with alarm the sloping hill, with trees on it, moving gradually towards him, and this progressive movement is said to have continued from Thursday to the next morning. It was a movement downwards and in its progress S.W. It has left immense caverns in the earth, and moved stones there of the magnitude of five or six tons. A number of trees were thrown down, some moved standing and are now remaining so. A large old yew tree was moved nearly sixty feet, and is now standing firm and uninjured. The people assert that six acres of ground were moved.

Yet another snippet from the same journal has it that a quarry on Capler Hill is the traditional source of the stone for Hereford cathedral.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd March 2011ce
Edited 23rd March 2011ce

To add to Paulus's post about the mound, Mr Watkins obviously thought this part of a ley:
Motoring into Linton, Herefordshire, I found the road sighted through that church to May Hill in the distance. On the map this alignment lay on a stretch of ancient road called The Line, with a house on it called The Line House. Sighted backward, the alignment goes through the edge of Lynders Wood, on to a sighting mound standing at the end of Capler Camp, from which I had noted that May Hill was a prominent object. Not far away was a place called Lea Line. [..]

.. It is curious that sceptics accept that fact when the sighted line over points was made by the Roman race, but refuse to entertain any possibility of other races having preceded them in such work..
From Notes and Queries, p62, July 28, 1928.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th August 2007ce

Miscellaneous

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Nearly opposite Holm-Lacey, on the east bank of the Wye, is the pleasant village of Fownhope, about half a mile to the north of which is an eminence crowned by an ancient Camp; and about twice that distance to the north*, is a second Camp, occupying the summit of another eminence, called Capler Hill: the latter Camp is double trenched, and called Woldbury; the former has no distinct appellation**. The Capler Hill is finely wooded; and from its summit the prospects are extensive and rich: the contiguous channel of the Wye forms a striking feature.
p507 of v6 of 'The Beauties of England and Wales' by John Britton + others (1805).

*actually it's to the south.
** this is Cherry Hill Camp.

'Picturesque Views on the River Wye' by Samuel Ireland (1797) calls Capler Hill 'Wobury' (p65).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th August 2007ce
Edited 26th August 2007ce