Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hod Hill

From the high ramparts of Hod Hill the adjacent Hambldon Hill stands steadfast against the windy onslaught, ominous clouds streaked across an azure sky, releasing frequent blasts of summer sunlight bathing the rolling hills. Both hills are steeped in history. The first traces of human activity on Hambledon Hill are the faint sections of shallow ditch which represent a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, a communal site used by surrounding farmsteads and small communities for ritual activities, gatherings, feasting and in this case excarnation prior to deposition in communal chambered burial mounds. Later barrows crown the summit, memorials to local dignitaries and finally the multi ramparted Iron Age Hillfort. They say that it's the hill which the Grand Old Duke of York marched his 10,000 men in preparation for the attack on Quebec. Hod Hill too wears a multi ramparted hillfort as a crown, this one attacked by the Romans after the invasion of AD43; once the inhabitants were subjugated the Romans remodelled one corner of the Iron Age fort into a square Roman style cavalry fort, the earthworks of which are clearly visible.

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