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Blewburton Hill
Blewbury (547862)

This unimpressive hillfort is situated on a low outlying protrusion of the Berkshire Downs, adjoining the village of Blewbury which takes its name from the stronghold. Plough activity has badly damaged the eastern portion, while the ramparts on the western side are not especially upstanding. There have, however, been some interesting excavations on the site.

It began life in the sixth or fifth century bc as a five acre stockaded camp at the western end of the hill. The interior revealed a number of round huts and storage pits. The present fort, covering ten acres, was constructed around 400 bc. Standing above a deep V-shaped ditch, its had double-faced timber ramparts were fixed together with cross-beams and infilled with chalk rubble. On the western side was an thirty-six foot wide gate with an extra six and a half foot deep defensive ditch 2m deep inside. It probably had a bridge over it

After a period of desertion, the hillfort was occupied again around 100 bc. The ramparts were rebuilt in a 'dump style, the ditch was newly dug and a palisade added to the counterscarp bank. The entrance was also remodelled and faced with drystone walling; and a blessing from the gods was invoked with the ritual slaughter and burial of some ten horses! An event which may be remembered in the old legend of a man and his horse who disappeared on the hill amid a clap of thunder. The fort was finally abandoned around the middle of the first century bc, possibly due to the expansion of hostile Belgic tribes.


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