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| The Berth |
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|Description ||(Although this site isn't listed here as a hillfort, my research and the archaeological work of Lily Chitty and a 1962 dig of the site call it so).
The photo here is the first view of the Berth I saw when I moved into the area, and just a mile from the site, in 1986.
This is a fascinating and undiscovered mid-Iron Age hillfort hidden away from gaze in the privately owned farmland of the North Shropshire countryside of England. Its magnificent presence was once reflected in the waters of marsh and mere but now it stands, a shadow of its former self, in pasture land, looking like nothing more than a tree covered hill. So unless you know the farmers - as we do - you'll never see it up close and personal, which is one of the reasons behind presenting it here and showing you both photographic and reconstructed images of how it might have looked in 300 BC.
For an historic site that has been said to be the Welsh king, Cynddylan's, Llys Pengwern (capitol of the kingdom of Pengwern) and even the burial ground for one of the historical contender for Arthur, there is very little known about it and no future archaeology planned for it.
The Berth is very unusual in that it isn't actually on a hill as such, not in the traditional sense of the word and not like most of the other 50 or so hillforts in Shropshire. The site is, in fact, two enclosures joined by a causeway. It's still unknown as to what the smaller, Outer Enclosure was. Was it the original camp, a burial or religious site or an animal enclosure? No one knows. It's almost the shape of a Bronze Age burial 'Pond Burrow' tumuli. It's hardly a 'hill fort' as its inner enclosure is almost flat but, then again, the Berth is hardly a hill fort, more of a 'mound fort'! Let's hope we find out one day.
The Berth - and the west and northwest Midlands region of what is now England - was once occupied by the Cornovii tribe. (These shouldn't be confused with the Cornovii of what is now northern Scotland or the Cornovii of the southwest who gave their name to the modern county of Cornwall). The name is thought to derive from Corno, meaning "the horn". This has been suggested to be because of the horn shaped Wirral Peninsular in the regionís north. My own theory is that it could be to do with either the Celtic sacred animal of the bull or because they were followers of the horned god, Cernunnos.
|Just in case anyone's wondering, I highlighted the mound area to help it stand out, otherwise it tends to look like a tree covered hill from this angle.|
|Andy B |
|Thanks for the lovely pics, welcome! I've changed the category to Hillfort as although it's borderline, that seems to be the consensus.|
|what finds were uncovered in 1962? is it mid iron age or older? could it be a causewayed enclosure?|
|Doesn't look to be much of a hill on which to build a fort: most have steep slopes. Also looks a bit small. I like steveo's suggestion.|
|It is designated as a 'Low Hill Hillfort'. It's not as small as you might think as is certainly bigger than the nearby Nesscliffe hillfort. The finds were of mid and late Iron Age and were a La Tene III brooch and a dagger. Soryy not to have replied sooner but I've been ill for quite some time. Mak|
|Also worth bearing in mind, is that is was surrounded by a large lake and marsh, served by a causeway, so in some respects it would have been as defendable as a crannog.|
| I notice that the last entry here was made some years ago and I have read somewhere that there was to be a new excavation on the Berth. Has this happened yet, if so where can we see the results?|
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