Hunsbury Hill

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Hunsbury Hill is an Iron Age hill fort two miles (3 km) south-west of the centre of the town of Northampton in the county of Northamptonshire.[1]

It is probable that defences were built at Hunsbury Hill between the 7th and 4th centuries BC. The deep ditch excavated has survived to the present day. A wooden rampart was also constructed; there is evidence that Hunsbury hill fort's inner ramparts were burned down and vitrified; this is rare in England.[2]

Ironstone extraction began at the hill fort in the 1880s, after an attempt to have the site protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882 failed due to the cost of compensating the landowner. Many of the fort's internal features were destroyed, but the work revealed up to 300 pits which, according to the curator of Northampton Museum in 1887, contained "numerous artefacts that now comprise one of the finest collections... of Prehistoric antiquities in England". The finds included iron weapons and tools, bronze brooches, pottery, glass and around 159 quern-stones. All were given to the town's museum.[2]

Hunsbury Hill fort is a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument. Parts of the fort's banks have been badly eroded because of the 19th century quarrying, the effects of burrowing European Rabbits and damage from tree roots.[2] It is now managed as a park by Northampton Borough Council. Part of the railway built for the quarrying remains and is maintained by Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust.[3]

The area around the hill is the large Northampton housing estate called West Hunsbury.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Northampton: Hunsbury Hill Park: General Information. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009
  2. ^ a b c Northampton Archaeological Society: Hunsbury Hillfort. 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2009
  3. ^ Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust. Retrieved 17 August 2009

Coordinates: 52°13′08″N 0°55′13″W / 52.21889°N 0.92023°W / 52.21889; -0.92023