It’s easy to take for granted the archaeology in the landscapes we work in, those special sites we can visit when ever we need to replenish our souls. All the archaeologists in the National Trust are spread across all the different places and landscapes in the Trusts holdings, each with a range of sites and wow’s.
We try to all meet up a few times a year to discuss common issues and share new discoveries and ways of working. The last gathering was down in Dorset here in the south-west, and we managed to do a whole day in the field, working on site management issues. The ‘fields’ we choose were the adjacent hill forts of Hambledon and Hod. Two of the 7 and a half hill forts we look after in Dorset. The climb up and down and up and down again was helped by a stop mid way for tea and biscuits provided by the Rangers who manage the sites and had joined us for the day.
As we reached the top of Hod Hill we got our first glimpse of the size of the ramparts and scale of the area inside them. Hod Hill even has room for a Roman fort in one corner!
With colleagues from areas of the country that don’t have many hill forts or any at all, commenting on how lucky we were in Dorset to have such magnificent monuments in our landscapes, I saw these sites with fresh eyes.
On the next sunny winters day do it, make the climb to the wow. Once on top of these hill forts you feel like a giant and you can touch the sky.