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British Camp Hillfort


So British Camp hillfort, is one of the great hillforts of England, and of Britain as a whole. This page was written on 2nd of October 2020. 

A 18 hectares hillfort in Herefordshire, 5 miles west of the Severn, and 4 miles east of the town of Ledbury. It sitting on a ridge of hills, that line between the valleys west of the Severn, which include a couple of such hills like it, also called beacons, as that is a alternative title, the Herefordshire Beacon for the hill much of the monument sits upon

I myself visited while on the way south to watch Wales play in a rugby international, It was delightful how close, indeed less than 100 metres it was to the car park, and a small village or hamlet. Which has a tourist shop or café (not for the fort, specifically but for the general area, and more for people on walks on the beauty spots along here) and a hotel nearby on the A449. 

The most notable feature about it is the description of it being like a wedding cake, in how aspects of it are so slim, that the multi ringed element of the fort form a gradient of ramparts to fall like steps or a wedding cake. It is also important to stress the length of the structure, it is much longer than it is wide, which is quite unusual for a hillfort, as many form a more rounded or squarer shape, not as much as a Roman square shaped fort, but more like that that this site.  Those must be so due to defence tactics, but I would suspect  this site's ancient designers wished to use the gradient of the hill, to a greater extent than concerns about a compact structure style design. 

Here are those bullet point facts.

* The name references of course the name of the ancient Britons, and the Celts, rather than the British identity formed by the union of Scotland and England in 1707.

* Some have postulated a link between this site, and the attack mentioned by Tacitus on a rubble walled fort, in his works of a many thousands strong battle in the war between forces led by Caratacus, and the Romans, On the one side, some claim works such as these can never be seen as totally reliable, and that such a battle may never have occurred. and more than that Caer Caradoc, and a number of other forts have just as much right to claim to be the site of such a battle if it occurred. The other side of the coin is though that, Classical writers have been proved to be correct on many occasions in their writings, and who are we to dispute their claims without a good argument, and it is certain there were some battles of this nature in the Roman invasion of Britain. So to my feeling, it would be a greater lie, to claim no hillfort could claim that such a battle occurred at the site, than say there was a chance it was here, and lets face it, the forts are so denuded and skeletal in terms of their remains, it is much of a muchness, in terms of whether such a battle or such battles occurred at this or a other site. So it is a fair enough legend really. A book in 1903 stated, it was for instance a The Rev. Dr. Card, Vicar of Great Malvern who claimed this was a site  of Caratacus and his stand versus the Romans. It also admitted it was a Camden in the 18th Century who stated that Caer Caradoc was the site of this battle. I mention all that in my fun facts page, and my fusion page on the The Wrekin, and Shropshire sites I have been to. Which talk of other sites claimed to be the location for this battle mentioned in Tacitus. 

* British Camp, sites partly on the Herefordshire Beacon, the highest point in the Malvern Hills. 

* British Camp, Malvern Hills, is a 18 hectare site,

* The hill it spans across is also sometimes called Malvern Beacon, as well as Herefordshire Beacon. I have not seen the term British Camo hill used much, except I saw so on a post card for sale on ebay.. British Camp is only 3.6 miles south of the Worcestershire Beacon. Also Herefordshire Beacon Hillfort, and Malvern Beacon hillfort are not terms used either.  Interesting as this site is on the eastern extremity of Herefordshire, while the Worcestershire peak, is on the western extremity of that county. The towns of Great Malvern, 4.4 miles to the north, and Little Malvern 1 mile from the Camp, are also both situated in Worcestershire. Cardiff is 63 miles south west from British Camp. Though I still see it as firmly a Herefordshire landmark. 

* Over 100 remains of roundhouses have been located by researchers.

* It sits 338 metres above sea level.

* In 200 BC, it was reaching a good level of occupation, 

* British Camp car park is so close to the steps up to the hillfort, you do not need to walk along a road or anything like that, for ages, if you get a parking space. Unlike the situation for some hillforts. Making a British Camp walk, a relaxing experience if you are fit enough. 

* It is almost as  long as Maiden Castle, but about half or even a third as wide. 

* There is also a site in Somerset known as British Camp, but more normally as Black Ball Camp, it is a small hillfort at 0.3 hectares, with 10 foot ramparts. 

* Celebrated composer, Edward Elgar, wrote a work with a piece titled " Caratacus ", which was partly written in honour of British Camp and the Malvern Hills, though more so the history of his stand at a site, that many at the time claimed was this hill, though Caer Caradoc had as many believers in it being the said site as this location. . Indeed I say on my fun facts page, there are many sites with this claim. 

* The town of Ledbury is not that far away, and is a nice looking 9,000 people town it is too. With the centre of this county, the 192,000 people city of Hereford, it's cathedral and the great Mappa Mundi,,a great example of a medieval map of the world in that religious building.18 miles west of this fort.  

* Extra Interesting Fact: Some 19th century books especially Victorian books referred to hillforts as British camps, I was seeing on the internet a fort in Wales, and another in England, and some in Scotland, so all Britain referred to as " a British camp ", or even a group of them as British Camps, which must be as in like the terms Saxon Shore fort or Viking fort. The term hillfort stuck for these though, and really that title just remained really for this landmark. Even Maiden Castle and Cheshire's forts have been referred to as British camps. Makes sense. Indeed in a example, I saw this site itself, we now refer to as "British camp". referred to as " a British camp ", I mean maybe they made a mistake back then and it was always called such, but it seems it was also a term used for many sites, so pretty interesting there. This site and others are even referred to as " ancient British camps " in some such old works. This site is even referred to as the British camp on the Herefordshire or Malvern Beacon, or the ancient British camp upon there. So the term British Camp hill fort used by me, is yet another title that is using the same term twice in the title like a double tautology, Then again it is sure, that this site now owns the term itself, so is only really now used for this site in the main. Just like some hillforts are known as the Gaer, or the Castle, so that is my article on British Camp.