Symonds Yat Rock Hillfort History

You can walk to the viewpoint and you will pass banks and ditches next to the path.  These are the remains of the ramparts of an Iron Age hillfort built around 2500 years ago.  The ramparts defended the southern side of this small triangular promontory.  The other two sides were protected by the steep cliffs of the Wye Gorge. 
Although most Iron Age people lived in small farmsteads, they spent time and labour building hillforts which overlooked and were visible from the surrounding countryside.  There are nine known hillforts around the Lower Wye Valley.  Some were defended settlements, perhaps the home of local chieftains and centres for the storage or distribution of goods.  Their ramparts were both defensive and a statement about the prestige of the inhabitants. Others may not have been permanently occupied, but were meeting places for markets or festivals which could have been used as a place of refuge in times of trouble.  This site probably fell out of use towards the end of the Iron Age, between about 50 BC and the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43.


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