14th June 2021

Hillfort features in community Festival of Archaeology

The ancient hillfort at Norton Fitzwarren which was recently secured for future generations by SWT and Historic England will be the focus of a community archaeology festival this month.

The event at Norton Fitzwarren Village Hall on July 27 will coincide with the Festival of British Archaeology and kick start plans for the whole community to get involved in the restoration of Norton Hillfort.

The Council has been working with Historic England, Norton Fitzwarren Parish Council and the South West Heritage Trust (SWHT) to protect the Hillfort which is the site of a scheduled ancient monument believed to date from the Neolithic era.  

The site which contains important archaeological remains will require many improvements over the coming years to preserve and protect ancient earthworks, enhance the site and ultimately remove it from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. 

Charlotte Russell, Heritage at Risk project officer for Historic England South West, said: “Norton Fitzwarren Hillfort is a remarkable monument and the Festival of Archaeology event is a great opportunity to celebrate its bright new future. We know the fort was important to generations of people through prehistory, and it continues to inspire and intrigue us today. We are delighted to be a funding partner to this exciting project.”

The restoration project will be launched at the event with logos designed by Norton Fitzwarren Primary School pupils. It is hoped that in time the whole site will become an informal space for the community.  

The Hillfort will be managed in the long term by the SWHT who look after many similar sites in the Somerset. 

Under their expertise, and in conjunction with Norton Fitzwarren Parish Council, there will be plenty of opportunities for the community to celebrate the hillfort. They will be invited to become involved in projects to create public access and enjoyment including the provision of open-air trails, wildflower meadows and forest school facilities.

The Archaeology Festival is the first of these and will be open to the wider community and anyone with an interest in helping to preserve Norton Hillfort for future generations. There will be a guided walk around the Hillfort during the afternoon departing from the Village Hall at 2.00pm and lasting for approximately one hour.