22 May 2010

Old Oswestry Hillfort

The hill upon which Old Oswestry Hillfort sits was settled from the Neolithic right through to the Roman period. The hillfort is one of the best preserved in Britain, and went through a number of phases of construction. The two innermost box ramparts - a clay core, faced with boulders and originally supported by timber, covered with earth - were built in the early Iron Age. In the middle Iron Age a third rampart was added on the western side of the fort. Still later this was enlarged, and had added to it a series of pits, which may have been defensive in nature or to provide storage. Finally, two further, massive, ramparts were added to encircle those already in place and create a formidable glacis.

At this time of year the hillfort is covered with common gorse (Ulex europaeus) and common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). (Non-scripta distinguishes the common bluebell from the hyacinth of Greek mythology, borne of the blood of Prince Hyacinthus, its petals marked by the tears of Apollo with the ancient Greek letters for "alas.") Bluebells are always extremely difficult to photograph successfully. Indeed, the whole site better lends itself to illustration by painting or drawing than by photography.

1 comment:

abijsmith said...

Not so sure; perhaps try a red/orange filter?