Kenidjack Fort, Cornwall
From the vantage level of this cliff fort, there are clear views over Cape Cornwall to the place the Channel and the Atlantic meet. On a stormy day it is a really wild place, because the coastal winds batter the shoreline. Kenidjack is a multivallate fort, which suggests it has a couple of rampart. A lot of the southern finish of the fortifications has been misplaced to erosion however a lot of the triple northern rampart remains to be intact. There’s proof of neolithic stone quarrying and of tin mining all through the bronze and iron ages: tin would have been a prized commodity within the bronze age, as a result of it’s important to make bronze itself. This complete space will need to have been vital to commerce, and its inhabitants might have adopted snippets of language or tradition from past these Cornish shores. Stays of a cairn circle might be discovered up close to the ruins of the tin mine and Ballowall Barrow is a brief stroll south, previous the stays of the early Christian St Helen’s Oratory and the 19th-century tin mine at Cape Cornwall. To achieve Kenidjack, stroll north on the coast path from the Nationwide Belief’s Cape Cornwall automobile park.
Dunkery Beacon, Somerset

On the slopes across the modern-day cairn on Dunkery Beacon are the stays of at the very least 5 bronze age cairns, from 2000-1600BC. They have been burial websites topped with stone however, after just a few thousand years, not all are in good condition. The biggest and most seen is on the north aspect, a big mound, 22 metres throughout. It could have been the closest place to the gods, so a becoming place to enter the afterlife. Some guests climb from Dunkery Bridge automobile park, simply over half a mile away; others choose the three-mile route from the east, alongside Macmillan Approach from Wootton Courtenay. It’s the best level in Somerset, and the views are fantastic.
Maiden Fort, Dorset

{Photograph}: Alamy
Close to Dorchester, this is likely one of the most iconic hillforts in England: at 47 acres – the scale of greater than 50 soccer pitches – additionally it is our largest, and should even be the most important in Europe. It was initially the positioning of a causewayed enclosure, a ritualistic tribal assembly floor within the neolithic interval (4000 to 2500BC). The positioning was put to make use of once more in round 600BC as a small hillfort, which was later expanded to the huge web site we see right now. Individuals lived and labored right here, making textiles and dealing metallic. Their roundhouses have been in-built rows, very similar to our fashionable streets. It’s a lovely web site to go to, with beautiful views throughout the Dorset countryside. Though the most important, it isn’t the one hillfort in Dorset: there’s the tree-covered Weatherby Fort to the north-east, the tumbling stays of Flower’s Barrow on the coast and Woolsbarrow hidden away in Wareham Forest
Belle Tout, Birling Hole, East Sussex

{Photograph}: Joana Kruse/Alamy
The Seven Sisters are, together with Dover’s White Cliffs, essentially the most iconic of all of the pure landmarks on the south coast. The rolling downs and towering chalk cliffs make them a spot like no different. Archaeologists are working to find extra in regards to the space’s prehistoric residents earlier than all of it falls into the ocean. The outer enclosure round Belle Tout lighthouse might date from the third millennium BC. Within the mid-1970s a bit of cliff fell away to disclose a round shaft working down contained in the cliffs to the seashore, which had been famous as a pit on older maps. It was broad sufficient for a person and had footholds working 43 metres to the bottom. Within the very centre of an inside enclosure considered bronze age, it has been described as a nicely, or probably ritual shaft, however its use is anybody’s guess. The shaft quickly vanished into the ocean, however in 2016 storms swept away materials from the shore to reveal its flat backside finish as a shallow round pit within the base materials. The outer ramparts are nonetheless very seen on the cliffs above. There’s a Nationwide Belief automobile park and customer centre with cafe on the positioning.
Sharpenhoe Clappers, Bedfordshire

{Photograph}: Diana Jarvis Images/Alamy
The views from this iron-age promontory hillfort are a uncommon deal with in part of the nation extra related to city sprawl. Sharpenhoe is claimed to imply “sharp spur of land”, and clappers comes from the Latin “claperius”, referring to the medieval rabbit warren that after lined the positioning. The fort might have been one in all a line of defended websites throughout the Chiltern Hills. Early Romano-British pottery has been discovered, and postholes counsel the presence of an earlier palisade or enormous timber wall, with a four-metre-wide ceremonial entrance. With its enchanting copse of beech timber, it is a beguiling place to discover. It’s greatest reached from the Nationwide Belief automobile park.
British Camp, Malvern Hills

{Photograph}: Nicholas E Jones/Getty Photographs
The 17th-century diarist John Evelyn stated the view from this hillfort atop Herefordshire Beacon was “one of many godliest vistas in England” and it’s nonetheless usually cited as one in all Britain’s greatest views. It definitely is beautiful, and it isn’t laborious to see why iron-age Britons selected to construct right here, within the second century BC. The tiers of ramparts, constructed up all through the latter iron age, stretch for greater than half a mile and enclose an space of 13 hectares (32 acres). On the top of its occupation, there may have been as many as 120 hut circles on the positioning, housing a considerable inhabitants. The closest parking is reverse the Malvern Hills Resort. A straightforward stroll to the south is a second hillfort owned by the Nationwide Belief, referred to as Midsummer Hill.
Langdale Axe Manufacturing unit, Nice Langdale, Cumbria

{Photograph}: John Oakey/Alamy
Almost a 3rd of the neolithic stone axes present in Britain are made from Langdale hornstone, or greenstone, discovered close to the summits of Pike of Stickle (pictured) and Harrison Stickle, two of the Langdale Pikes – a tough place to get to. Broadcaster Neil Oliver says the positioning of the Langdale axe manufacturing facility, within the Lake District, might need been as vital because the axes themselves. Such was the business on this web site that rejected axes can nonetheless be discovered to at the present time on the scree slope east of the summit of Pike of Stickle. For these prepared and in a position to courageous this treacherous place, a artifical cave might be discovered round 50-100 metres down the scree slope. It’s doable this was a Neolithic building, constructed for the axe carvers to retreat into when the climate turned on the mountainside. It’s greatest reached from New Dungeon Ghyll automobile park.
Arbory Hill, South Lanarkshire

{Photograph}: Jon Taylor
On prime of Arbory Hill are the well-preserved concentric banks of a multi-rampart fort, with intensive views over Clydesdale. In the present day, the railway line and the M74 benefit from this opening within the hills, however it could have additionally been an vital route for the Romans, with the stays of their street seen as a scar within the panorama. It’s even possible that they in flip constructed over an current iron age trackway or commerce route. The fort might have supported a small inhabitants, as stays of a timber-framed home and an oblong stone basis have been discovered within the inside circle. For a chook’s-eye view of the fort, proceed up neighbouring Tewsgill Hill. It’s a 45-minute stroll from a layby on Station Highway, Abington.
Castlelaw Hillfort, close to Edinburgh

{Photograph}: Jon Taylor
This hill fort (to not be confused with the vitrified fort of the identical title in Forgandenny) is a stone’s throw from Edinburgh, on the north-eastern finish of the Pentland Hills at Easter Howgate, trying right down to the Glencorse reservoir. Throughout the center of the primary millennium BC, the fort would have had a big wood gateway guarding the doorway, of the type later constructed for timber colonial forts within the American wild west. Later within the fort’s historical past, two extra earth ramparts have been constructed, and it’s thought that the earth home was constructed after the Roman occupation. The Votadini, who constructed this fort, additionally commanded the one on the extinct volcano of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. Park at Fort Knowle automobile park, close to Glencorse.
Bryn Cader Faner, Gwynedd

{Photograph}: Alamy
A stone crown sits atop a distant Welsh hill in an space with only a few indicators of habitation. Far under, a steam practice chugs via the valley, however right here there’s solely the sound of the wind via the stones. A neighborhood information poetically interprets the title as “fortress of waves on the hill”, but it surely may additionally imply “hill of the throne with the flag”. Neither Victorian treasure hunters nor 1930s military goal follow even dented the majesty of this remoted bronze age cairn. The stones would have as soon as stood upright, however they’ve slipped outwards, giving it its present crown form. In the present day it’s little greater than a mass of stones, however the 1920s Stock of the Historic Monuments of Wales describes the stays of a burial chamber eight toes by 5, with a two-foot stone resembling the gables of the home.
Dave Hamilton is creator of Wild Ruins BC (£16.99, Wild Issues Publishing). Guardian readers obtain a 20% low cost and free P&P (£13.60) with code Guardian19
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