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Hiding in Hillforts across Berkshire
across the Berkshire part of the Thames Valley


Hillfort of Walbury Camp at Inkpen -  Nash Ford Publishing

 

  • Hillforts are what they sound like: simple forts built on hills. Many can be seen around Berkshire today. They are sometimes called 'castles'.
  • You also get valley forts too. Abingdon had one of these.
  • They cover large areas of land and are surrounded by big earth banks and ditches. The banks originally had strong wooden walls on top, but they have rotted away.
  • Some small hillforts were built in the Bronze Age. Most were built in the Iron Age.
  • An Iron Age chief would arrange for his people to build a hillfort. It would keep them and their stores of food safe. This was especially true in times of war.
  • Inside the fort, there were lots of very large thatched round houses. Their roofs nearly reached to the ground.
  • There would also be lots of pits of storing grain. When sealed over with clay, the grain would not rot and could last for a very long time.
  • There might also be small granaries on stilts for grain storage; and perhaps a temple to a Celtic god.
  • The Uffington White Horse was the symbol of the god worshipped at Uffington Castle next door.
  • There are 22 hillforts in the Berkshire part of the Thames Valley. Is there one near you?

 

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