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Old Bewick Hillfort

Hillfort

<b>Old Bewick Hillfort</b>Posted by postmanImage © Chris Bickerton
Nearest Town:Alnwick (14km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NU074215 / Sheet: 75
Latitude:55° 29' 13.83" N
Longitude:   1° 52' 58.38" W



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Eric and I visited Blawearie cairn eight years ago but because of time constraints we couldn't go up and see the hill fort with it's plethora of rock art. Today is different, we've loads of time and oodles of grim determination to see what I've come to see, no matter what.
After having satiated my need for rock art I approached the fort from the east. Walking along the scarp edge I pass by two banks on my right and stop at the warbox (of which there's 2), I think of going in or perhaps standing on top of it to get a look around, but I soon lost interest because right next to it is the biggest cup mark in the world. Several feet across and deep enough to drown a sheep in, it surely must be man made, made for who knows what kind of arcane purposes. Its getting a bit overgrown now, another decade and it'll be lost to undergrowth.
Walking west from there and it all gets a bit complicated, four parallel banks set perpendicular to the cliffs edge, this made me wonder about the place and I just walked round and round trying to get a feel for the shape of the place. A clue was had on the 1;25000 map, it says there are forts here, plural, right, ok that goes some way to explain whats going on here. But why would you have two forts just yards from each other and then build a bank and ditch round both forts. Makes no sense at all, unless it was perhaps two quibbling brothers, or a his and hers residence maybe, or and this strikes a cord with me, perhaps the lord and lady got divorced and they broke the fort in two in accordance with the courts demands.
Or, and this is probably my favorite daft theory, all the rock art round here is very impressive, some may say inspirational, what if it inspired someone to put together a landscape art version of two cup and rings. Has anyone ever suggested hill forts being giant landscape art, probably.

A fantastic site, spend a whole day up here with cists, cups and forts and you'll be blown away.
postman Posted by postman
23rd June 2019ce
Edited 23rd June 2019ce

It's a really odd shape for a hillfort. Like one standard hillfort that's ben cracked in half, then each half set against the edge of the scarp, one next to the other. Or perhaps one hillfort with a hinge, which has been swung open, to make two hemispherical forts. It's been described as being like a pair of half-moon spectacles when viewed from above.

It's got fair sized banks and ditches, but it's most salient feature is the great big rock cut basin just on the edge of the scarp, see Pebble's photo. Given the nearby astounding rock art, you can't help but wonder if there's a connection between this thing and the cupmarks which litter the area.
Hob Posted by Hob
12th July 2005ce
Edited 12th July 2005ce

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Birds-eye view of the fort
pebblesfromheaven Posted by pebblesfromheaven
12th July 2005ce