Copyright (c) The Crickley Archaeological Hill Trust 1969-2021. The right to use, copy, distribute or otherwise disseminate this material is reserved to those specifically authorised by The Trust.

The second Iron Age hill fort

Around 500 BC, perhaps not long after the destruction of the first hill fort, the site was occupied again. The village this time was built of round houses, very different from the preceding rectangular long houses. The central feature was one huge roundhouse (see below) - 15m in diameter with its entrance facing away from the hill fort gates.

The defences underwent a considerable refurbishment and strengthening. The old rampart was full rebuilt and enlarged, with a new stonework from quarries behind the wall and from a widened ditch. It was probably 5-6m high with a walkway on top and another lower one in front of the wall.

The entrance was massively enlarged (see right). Two huge bastions flanked the main entrance and a new hornwork looped around to create a second outer gate. When excavated, this still looks like an impressive structure and must have been even more so at the time. However, further from the gateway, the rebuilding and reinforcement of the wall was never completed. Lower down the hill to the South, where the post-Roman settlement was later built, it is clear that the rebuilding peters out.

Perhaps this is why it was not long after the roundhouses were built that they were destroyed. By 400 BC, the hill was once again abandoned.

Richard Savage, an expert on the Iron Age, explains the hill forts in the third part of the site video:

Click the photos to see the whole Iron Age entrance

Click the photo to see the whole Iron Age rampart

Click the photo to see the Iron Age settlements