Old Oswestry is one of Britain's most spectacular and impressive early Iron Age hill forts in the Welsh Marches near Oswestry in north west Shropshire. Old Oswestry Hillfort is reputed as "The Stonehenge of the Iron Age Period" - Dr Rachel Pope, University of Liverpool. It remains one of the best preserved hill forts in the UK, according to English Heritage. Built on lower ground, it is also one of the most accessible hill forts with stunning panoramic views across North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.
Designated as a scheduled monument (number 27556) in 1997 it is now in the guardianship of English Heritage. After the hill fort was abandoned it was incorporated into Wat's Dyke, and two sections of this are adjacent to it.
Iron Age Hillfort
The complexity of its defenses suggests several phases of development. The site was originally occupied by a few undefended round huts. These were then enclosed by a double bank and ditch enclosure spreading over 52,000 square metres (13 acres). Entrances were placed through the enclosure at the east and west ends where the inner bank was pulled back inwards to create a more impressive gateway. These defenses were later rebuilt and a third bank added on all sides except the south east where the hill's steep slope made further strengthening unnecessary. The western entrance was then remodeled with unusual rectangular hollows separated by ridges dug out and defended by outworks. Finally two further circuits of banks and ditches were added to the outside and a flanking bank placed alongside the eastern entrance.
Although Old Oswestry was one of the most strongly defended hill forts in Britain there is no evidence that the Roman Legions ever tried to besiege it.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Old Oswestry Hillfort.|
- Ancient Britain - Old Oswestry
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Old Oswestry and surrounding area today
- History and research into Old Oswestry: English Heritage
- Map sources for Old Oswestry