The lay-by mention by Chance is the ONLY place to park when accessing this site.
Be careful when walking along the narrow road as it is a busy road and on several occasions I had to jump up onto the verge in order to keep safe!
A metal field gate gives access but despite wandering up and down I could see no obvious trace of any field works etc?
I did however get stung by thistles which gave a change form being stung by the more usual nettles!
Nothing to recommend a visit I'm afraid.
Mount Scylla Settlement Earthwork, Ford - June 8th 2008
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 157 - Scale 1:25000
Chippenham & Bradford-on-Avon inc. Trowbridge & Melksham.
Saw this site listed on TMA and checked it out.
Not the easiest too easy to view. No public footpath and parking problematic.
The nearest lay-by is at ST 83032 74297 on the B road between Ford and Colerne.
It's not marked on the OS map, but lies over the road from the footpath style.
You either walk down the road until you get to the gate at ST 83165 74455, on the right hand side,
or you make your way through the field along the hedgerow.
WARNING - the road is very narrow, steep and has a blind bend at this gateway. In fact the road runs very straight until it gets to the edge of the earthwork. Maybe it was driven through it on purpose, to make the earthwork less defensive. The hillfort in the next valley, Bury Wood Camp may have been sacked by the Second (Augusta) legion of the Roman army, on their advance to Gloucester.
I cycled down the road until I out to the gate and left the bike by the hedge.
Walking into the field, I was struck by the natural beauty of the area. The site sites halfway up the side of a hill overlooking the Bybrook valley.
The earthwork consists of two straight sections joining at a slight angle. The northern section runs North West to south east for 115m and consists of a rampart but no ditch. This section forms a field boundary and is surmounted by the remains of a much later dry stone wall creating a field boundary.
Getting level with the rampart at it's lowest point, I was surprised to find a stile built for crossing over the wall and into the field containing the rampart. The stone wall had been built over the left hand side of the rampart. I guess it must have been still stable after 2 thousand years, to do this.
The section to the south runs from NNE to SSW for 140m ending at a point at which the slope to the south becomes very steep. It comprises a bank up to 0.3m high from the west and 2.8m high from the east. The bank is 8.4m wide and is flanked to the east by a ditch 7m wide and up to 0.5m deep.
The right hand side of the rampart is much easier to see and follow, as it stands 2.8m high at the southern end and has been a sprinkling of young Oak trees.
There seemed to be some kind of hollow or dried up pond in its middle, where the two sections met. A number of large stones sat around its edge and it gave the impression of a ruined stone circle. The stone boundary wall also curved around this point, so it may have been built as a pond. The hollow had hazel growing around its edges.
Together with the steep slope to the south and north, the earthwork defines an area of about 3ha, although the full extent of the monument to the west is not known.
The area as a whole has lots of Mesolithic and Neolithic flint tool finds, an Iron-Age hillfort, Romano-British buildings, and the undated burial mounds in Colerne Park, excavated in 1953.
[Centred ST 83267435] CROSS-DYKE [GT]. (1)
A single bank with ditch to east extending for 450 yards N-S, with an angular turn at the middle, and ending in woods on the valley sides. It is under grass. [Mellor & Grinsell both refer to Aubrey's 17th c. description]. (2-4)
The earthwork extends from ST 83177445 to ST 83267436, where it turns NW and thence to ST 83237422; a small gap near the South end is caused by a modern trackway. The southern half consists of an east facing scarp with a berm to the west; the remainder is a bank with ditch to the east. A low bank from ST 83187447-ST 83117451 indicates a further northward extension of the earthwork. Surveyed at 1/2500. (5)
The southern portion of the earthwork from ST83237422 to ST 83257430, is in good condition, elsewhere it now forms a
field boundary and has been ploughed along its W facing margins. 1:2500 Survey transferred to PFD. (6)
This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is now recognised as the rampart of an Iron Age defended settlement, rather than a cross-ridge dyke as it was previously thought to be (and recorded as on the OS map). The 'Magic' website confirms that it was included in the schedule in 1970 as 'Wiltshire 847' and is now scheduled in the national monument register as '34190', and is described as "Rampart of an Iron Age defended settlement 410m south west of Mount Scylla Farm".
Iron Age defended settlements are actually very rare, and this is said to represent a well-preserved example. The site was mentioned by antiquarian John Aubrey who described it as a "rampard with graffe (ditch) eastwards, but no camp". It runs from ST83177445 to ST83257435 and on to ST83237423.