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Hunsbury Hill (Danes Camp)

The site of the earliest known settlement in Northampton, Hunsbury Hill was an Iron age hill fort. With vast quantities of iron in the ground this fort would have been ideal as a trading post. Weapons and jewellery would have been its main survival. It's now believed to have been built sometime 2-2500 years ago and some sources believe it to be as old as 400 years BC.

Oval in structure and containing about four acres of ground, it used banks and ditches as it's main protection from invaders. The inner earthworks is about 4mtrs high and has a circumference of over 500 mtrs. A deep ditch still exists today, the original reportedly being twelve feet wide and twenty deep, along with a few vitrified timbers. The wall inside of the ditch is thought to have been mostly rubble and clay construction that was reinforced with strong timber posts and rails supporting a timber stockade.

The remaining posts show that the fort was subjected to an extremely intense fire at some stage, the reason unknown. Maybe the fort became a huge funeral pyre for the celtic chieftain on his death or was it simply from a raid or attack? Some of the unearthed relics suggest that at some time, it had a religious significance. The number 3 was a sacred number to Iron age dwellers and skulls were found with three holes in them.

This camp is in a very vulnerable position and is gradually being eroded away. Not by the weather or time but by the local vandals who just don't realise the importance of the site.


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