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Along the Moors - The Wall

The Hillfort

Aberdeen Angus Cattle On The Inner Defences Of The Hillfort
Aberdeen Angus Cattle On The Inner Defences Of The Hillfort

Occupation of The Wall Hillfort appears to have taken place over a period of about 400 years, between 300BC and 100AD. The site encloses an area of some 12 hectares and is both extensive and complex; its ramparts appear to have been built in several phases, with the earthworks consisting of inner and outer banks and two entrances — much of which are still visible. Archaeological excavations have revealed the presence of at least three structures within the interior of the enclosure and the presence of circular gullies, stakehole rings and a possible clay floor suggests people may once have lived on site; although quite what it was used for remains open to conjecture.

While its seems probable the hillfort had a defensive function, perhaps as an outpost of the Cornovii tribe on The Wrekin, its principal use may have been in controlling the resources of the moorlands. Nearby Shray Hill, which stands guard on the Portway road between Newport and Shrewsbury, would certainly have offered a better vantage point over the surrounding area and the discovery of an Iron Age enclosure near its summit, during the early 1970s, suggests this might well have been the case. Indeed, the shallow nature of the outer defences of the hillfort point to a dual usage for the structure and it may have been utilised as a holding area for livestock brought to the moors for summer grazing from the higher ground to the north.