The site of a battle that took place over 5000 years ago has been preserved for the enjoyment of future generations thanks to a National Trust project.
The archaeological remains at Crickley Hill, near Gloucester, suggest a battle took place there in around 3600BC but they were under threat from erosion.
But now its historical importance as a Scheduled Ancient Monument meant it was placed on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register which helped secure enough funding to see vital conservation work completed.
These remains were covered by the ramparts and ditches of an Iron Age hill fort over 2000 years ago and there is also evidence of occupation there from the 5th century when the Roman army left Britain.
National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth says: “Crickley is a fabulous archaeological site of national importance. I am delighted that this project has made such huge improvements to the site and will help maintain it for generations to come.”
The National Trust carried out the project which included back-filling extensive rabbit burrows, re-turfing and fencing off some areas which have been eroded. Other eroded areas have been covered with gravel but left open for walking on. The aim of gravelling these areas is to protect them to some extent, but also to give visitors the opportunity to fully explore the area and accepting that a degree of erosion is inevitable.
The repairs have been funded by Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme and the Gloucestershire Monuments Management Scheme (MMS).
And work doesn’t stop here. The Trust’s Ranger team at Crickley Hill, led by Martin Jones, will continue their regular scrub management to prevent the development of scrub, which can cause serious damage to archaeological remains, as well as providing cover for burrowing animals.
Martin Jones, Area Ranger for Crickley Hill says: “Everyone working on the Crickley Hill project has demonstrated a great deal of dedication and hard work. It highlights how important it is for the National Trust, local organisations and councils to work in partnership to take care of beautiful and historic outdoor areas like this. We hope the repairs will ensure the survival of the Crickley Hill site for thousands more years.”