Some time ago, Lynne and Ian adopted Dowsborough Iron Age Hill Fort as part of the Quantock Hills AONB Monument’s Survey. This ‘adoption’ involves a six-monthly survey of the site and general TLC including regular litter and rubbish picking sessions.

Dowsbourough (also known as Danesborough, Douseborough and Dane’s Barrow) dates from about 2,500 to 3,000 years ago and was a fortified hill fort with a rampart and deep ditch surrounding the oval shaped encampment. Whether this was used permanently, only at certain times of the year or just when attack was imminent is not known. Neither is whether the fort was enclosed, although other such forts were surrounded by wooden palisades. Later the Roman’s used the fort as a look-out or summer camp with it being possible that Julius Caesar visited the hill in 55BC.

The Saxons probably used the fort as a lookout (for Vikings) and King Alfred build a military road, the Herepath, which passes nearby and ran from Cannington across the Quantocks to the Brendon Hills and Exmoor.

The views from the top are fantastic with the north Quantocks, Bristol Channel and Wales all visible on a clear day. You can see why ancient peoples built a look-out there.

At the end of October, Ian was invited to see works that had been undertaken in stopping erosion on the top of the fort. Dr Bob Croft, the Somerset County Archaeologist, led a group up the hill to explain what had been done and to tell a little of the history of the site.

The hill fort is open to the public and is just a mile and a half or so away from The Old Cider House. Just remember to treat it with respect and please don’t take your mountain bikes up there!