The Hillfort Map Project

The  Hillfort Map Project has its roots in late 2008, when I was compiling pages for the first iteration of Digital Digging. Updates to the Google Earth and Maps tile-sets were revealing large parts of the countryside which had previously looked like pea-soup, and many monumental sites were coming into sharp relief. At the time, it was only my intention to link the images to the relevant HER data and leave it at that. I managed a fair portion of Somerset and Wiltshire, but then went off to do a degree and progress on the site stalled somewhat.

Scratchbury Camp

Scratchbury Camp

A year or so ago I was bitten by the hillfort bug again, and I’ve spent the intervening months amassing a large amount of data from multiple sources for every hillfort in England, Wales and Scotland (Ireland is on the back burner, but will be included at a later date). I have also accurately mapped each of them digitally, and it is now my intention to write a detailed description of the sites, to which I will add fresh layout illustrations and other relevant terrain data, some of which will be in the form of 3D reconstructions.

Phase 1 (complete) – Compile data from multiple sources on every hillfort in England, Wales and Scotland.

Phase 2 (complete) – Compile an accurate and complete as possible digital map of hillforts based on this data.

Phase 3 (in progress) – Create a detailed illustrated description of each hillfort for immediate publication on the web, and later print publication. Use the research as a basis for a series of essays about hillforts and the wider Iron Age environment for web publication.

It’s going to take around 18 months to 2 years to complete, so I’ve established a programme where-by an entire county will be released every 7 to 10 days with minimal information, and two hillforts a day will be released with a full write-up. That way a complete map will be up and running in well under a year, while all the time being updated with full information on a site by site basis.

I should add that BerkshireDorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Sussex and Wiltshire are already available.

It’s going to be a long haul, and I’ll be blogging all the while. If you’d like to follow the project I’ll be TweetingFacebookingGoogle Plussing and Youtubing as I go along – please feel free to join me.

Henry Rothwell.

You may also like...

13 Responses

  1. Alexandra King says:

    Looks utterly brilliant! Waiting for Walbury :-)

  2. Well done! I have spent many an hour looking at Google Earth and wishing I knew more about identifying lumps’n’bumps sites from aerial views!

  3. Alexandra King says:


  4. Alexandra King says:

    Thank you! Walbury is my local site but I have to say that Perborough looks dashed interesting.

  5. jamesharris says:

    This is great, thank you. I’d look forward to Gloucestershire, but I live in Wiltshire so this is really useful.

  6. garyccakes says:

    just curious if a Gloucestershire list is forthcoming ?

  7. ian Stock says:

    Hi Henry this is great. Some of the names of these hill forts are curious to say the least. For example Bats Castle, near Dunster, Somerset. Do you have any information on its origin – how it came to be called that?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.