Monument details

HER Number:866/1/3
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Iron Age hillfort at Eddisbury


Eddisbury is a bivallate (double rampart) hillfort situated on an outcrop of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge overlooking the Weaver Valley to the east. Like many of the hillforts along the Ridge, it was constructed to make best use of the contemporary landscape by reinforcing the scarp on each side with a double rampart and intervening ditch. The defences survive quite prominently along the northern and north-western sides; however, they have been affected by plough damage and quarrying. The inner rampart is 15m wide and up to 6m high and is revetted with dry stone walling visible along the north face. The intervening ditch occupies some 10m width between the two ramparts and survives to a depth of 0.5m. The outer rampart is 16m wide at its base and rises to 5.5m high with no external ditch. The area enclosed by the defences is 5.4ha in extent.

Eddisbury is essentially comprised of three areas; the main body of the hillfort including an entrance on the eastern line of the rampart, the north-western end adjacent to Old Pale Farm including a second entrance, and Merrick’s Hill to the south-east (or the Chamber in the Forest) where medieval reoccupation included a royal hunting lodge. Eddisbury was first included on the Schedule in 1934. The hillfort is well preserved around much of its defences despite some plough damage and quarrying activity. There is a strong potential for surviving below ground remains within the hillfort.

Phase 4 was identified as the earliest phase of hillfort activity with the construction of a primary inner rampart and segmental inner ditch; it is likely that the hillfort from the outset enclosed the entire extent of Eddisbury including Merrick’s Hill and the north-western end where the original entrance was located. This was followed by the addition of the primary phase outer rampart and outer ditch and may have also included the creation of the eastern entrance (Phase 5). A secondary phase of re-cutting of the inner rampart and ditch occurred soon (Phase 6) after followed by alterations to the eastern entrance. Evidence from both Varley’s excavations and the 2011 work suggested the southern guardroom at the eastern entrance was burnt down in Phase 7 with radiocarbon dating placing this at around 375 BC. The outer rampart and ditch were later re-cut in around AD 10-130 (Phase 8) followed by the ultimate abandonment of the hillfort in the transition between the Iron Age and the Roman period (Phase 9).


Monument Types

  • HILLFORT (Iron Age to AD 2ND CENTURY - 410 BC to 130 AD)
  • UNIVALLATE HILLFORT (Iron Age - 410 BC to 250 BC)
  • BIVALLATE HILLFORT (Iron Age to AD 2ND CENTURY - 400 BC to 130 AD)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1013295: Eddisbury Hillfort East Of Old Pale Farm

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
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