Hereford & Worcester

National Trust plans trail for Iron Age hill fort find

Some of the Iron Age pottery Image copyright Eaton Camp Historical Society
Image caption The finds from the fort, which date back to 700-500BC are with Hereford Museum

A tourist trail is being planned for an Iron Age hill fort that has been rediscovered by Herefordshire residents.

Excavations have been taking place at Eaton Camp, in Ruckhall, since 2012, led by community archaeology group Eaton Camp Historical Society.

The group won £28,500 Heritage Lottery funding for two digs and discovered finds dating back to 700-500BC.

The National Trust, which owns the site, is creating a trail to the fort.

Image copyright Eaton Camp Historical Society
Image caption The National Trust plans to help visitors find the fort by introducing a new trail

Caroline Hanks, deputy chair of the society, said many residents did not even realise the fort existed, even though it lies in the heart of Ruckhall.

"We started the society because we wanted to find out more about it," she said.

The group worked closely with Herefordshire Archaeology to apply for funding and carry out geophysical surveys of the site, prior to the dig.

During the dig, the group found pottery fragments, iron objects, animal bones and the remains of a human skull, as well as evidence of a communal roundhouse.

Many of the finds have been given to Hereford Museum.

Image copyright Eaton Camp Historical Society
Image caption The group hopes to continue its excavations to determine how old the fort is

The group hopes to continue its excavations once further funding has been secured.

"We now understand a lot more about the hill fort and we hope people will enjoy it more and realise it's there," said Ms Hanks.

"We would like to look for further evidence to see how far it dates back. There's a theory it may go back to Neolithic times - there are lots of Neolithic sites in Herefordshire, such as Dorstone Hill - but we currently have no evidence for that."

The National Trust, which owns the Brockhampton Estate, on which the fort is situated, is working to clear the land of scrub and install a path to promote the fort's accessibility.

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