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Old Oswestry Hill Fort

Visited August 2018

Location Oswestry, Shropshire
Entrance Fee No 
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes 
Facilities None








Old Oswestry Hill Fort dates back to the early Iron Age. Despite having five sets of ramparts between ground level and the summit, it is not a difficult climb to the top and to walk around the whole of the fort takes between 30-40 minutes. This makes it a great destination for children as it gives them the fresh air and green space they need to let off steam without being too physically demanding. On the day we visited, in the height of the summer season, there were no other visitors and we really enjoyed the peace at the top and the amazing views in all directions.





The hill fort was inhabited for over 1000 years and was expanded numerous times, probably during times of strife.  The ditches and ramparts would have made it difficult for attackers and therefore given the inhabitants time to defend their position. The fort seemed to have been in constant habitation, the population lived in roundhouses probably with thatched roofs. Signs of iron age settlements and farming on the surrounding fields points to the possibility that at the end of its habitation the hill fort was only used in times of conflict, and gradually as the area became more peaceful it was then abandoned altogether.





Old Oswestry then led a quiet existence with mainly agricultural activity taking place on its slopes and summit. However it was pressed back into service again during WW1 when it was a training ground for troops being sent to the front. The WW1 poet Wilfred Owen was born in Oswestry and completed his training here. More recently it has been the focus of a battle between developers and local people- the former proposing to build houses right up to the edge of the fort and the latter opposing the planning application. The battle is still waging on this issue but I am certainly glad we have visited Old Oswestry as if the developers are granted permission to build the glorious and historically important surroundings of the fort could be changed for ever.


Today it is so peaceful it is hard to imagine that this was not always the case, and that it was built for defensive purposes. If you want to drive to the hill fort then we recommend parking in the Gatacre playing field car park and then walking round the edge of the field to the road that leads to the entrance to the fort. This is easy to spot as it has a gated access and a well maintained path. There are no  facilities up on the hill but it is actually not far from Oswestry town. We suggest you take a picnic and enjoy the peace and views from the top while you still can.






More info:  English Heritage Old Oswestry

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