The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Hunsbury Hill



I live right by the hillfort and it is a mess - I sometimes ring up to complain about abandoned cars etc.

I use it as a GCSE coursework assignment - what is the purpose of the hillfort? We look at a variety of interpretations dating back to the 19th century. The museum reconstruction is not based on reality at all, as my students discover when they think about the small size of the interior of the fort. You couldn't possbly get all those huts in!

Because the interior was mined for ironstone in the 19th century, there is no evidence of any inhabitation or post holes. However, the finds, which can be seen in the Central museum, are amazing and raise lots of questions. Why were there huge numbers of quernstones buried in pits? Why was the scabbard bent into 3? Why do the skulls and some pots have 3 holes in them? The previous curator in the education dept thought that the site may have had religious significance as three was a sacred number and iron age people often buried things in the ground as offerings. The quernstones come from far afield - Dorset and Derbyshire. There is evidence of trade and the fort is on an old road (known locally as Green lane).

The ramparts changed shape and this may indicate a change in function (there is a similar change at Rainsborough and at other hillforts such as Danebury).

One day, when I have more time, I want to look into the background to the hillfort in more detail, as it's a really significant site in terms of finds.
Posted by SarahJane
17th April 2003ce

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