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Danebury Hill Fort

Location

Hampshire Map

OS Ref: SU 324 377

Last Visited: 2015

A Pony by the Entrance

A Pony by the Entrance

As well as being a very fine Iron Age hill fort, Danebury is also one of the the few areas of publicly accessible unenclosed downland in this part of Hampshire.

As such it is popular with dog owners and other casual walkers, as well those who enjoy a fine view or want a nice spot for a picnic.

There are good views to the north and east, but frustratingly, due to the trees that surround the site, it is is not possible to see out to the south-west.

The fort was extensively excavated by Professor Barry Cunliffe during the 70s and 80s, the lengthiest investigation of any hill fort in western Europe. The excavations showed that within the fort there were numerous circular houses and rectangular store buildings, along with thousands of deep storage pits.

The Roundhouse Earth Seat

The Earth Seat

The Earth Seat

The Earth Seat Stone (Photoshop Restoration)

The Earth Seat Stone (Photoshop Restoration)

To commemorate the excavations an earth seat was created on the site of one of the round houses excavated by Barry Cunliffe and his team in the 1970s.

The stone that was placed in the centre of the seat is now sadly worn, but through the magic of Photoshop, we can get some idea of what it must have looked like.

Some repair work was being carried out on the seat when I last visited the site (Spring 2015).

Walking


View in Google Earth

There seems little point in giving detailed directions around this relatively small area of open access land.

It is, of course, compulsory to circumnavigate the walls of any hill fort, but in this case it is worth wandering through the centre as well.

There is also a path running round the fort outside the walls

It is possible to join this path at the far south-eastern end of the site, by taking the sloping diagonal path down the walls, and walking along the ditch a short way.

If you then climb the slight bank in the opposite side of the ditch you should be able to spot the stile leading out on to the outer path.

I would suggest turning right here as there is slightly less tree cover on this side, and some good views out to the north.

Parking

The Lower Car Park

The Lower Car Park

There are two car parks.

If you just want to visit the hill fort, follow the access road up the hill to its end where there is a car park with some toilets and some display boards.

If you want to extend the walk, park down by the main road, and there is a path running up to the fort in the field to the left of the access road.