Hillfort revelation in store for finale of Oswestry heritage festival

A long standing mystery surrounding one of Britain’s most important hillforts is set to be unravelled as Oswestry’s Heritage Open Days festival reaches a close.

Old Oswestry hillfort. Photo: Oswestry Heritage Gateway
Old Oswestry hillfort. Photo: Oswestry Heritage Gateway

Archaeologist and hillfort specialist, Dr Rachel Pope, will shed light on the function of the unusual and unexplained pits at Old Oswestry’s western entrance at a seminar this Sunday (September 16).

Based on new understanding from hillfort studies elsewhere in England, Dr Pope will reveal all during a site talk discussing the design of the monument’s two entrances.

Running 11am to 3pm, the seminar includes two further presentations at the nearby Gatacre Pavilion with views of the hillfort across Gatacre playing fields.

Also speaking will be archaeologist and rock art expert, Dr George Nash, who will discuss how modern technology is enabling new interpretations of the role of Iron Age hillforts.

Illustrator and archaeologist, John Swogger, will highlight the use of comics to encourage public heritage engagement with reference to projects related to hillforts and monuments of the Welsh Marches. Working with Qube, John has produced a town trail of historic Oswestry for Heritage Open Days, based on his popular Oswestry Heritage Comics series.

The seminar has been organised by the Oswestry Heritage Gateway, which works to conserve and promote Old Oswestry as the hub of Oswestry’s heritage-rich northern gateway. Admission is free, but places are limited so booking is essential. For further details and reservations, search ‘Views of Old Oswestry’ at www.eventbrite.co.uk

As part of the annual Heritage Open Days celebration taking place nationwide, the Oswestry Heritage Forum has organised a bumper programme of heritage discovery in and around the town. The hard work of hundreds of volunteers is giving people access to over 200 activities, events and exhibition sessions, as well as historic buildings normally closed to the public, enabling them to explore their local history.

Launched last Thursday, the 11-day festival continues through to Sunday 16 with plenty still left for all ages to enjoy, ranging from talks, films and exhibitions to poetry writing, canal trips, monorail rides, crafts, clog dancing and re-enactments.

The role of women in history is a particular theme this year, with exhibitions and talks on the suffragettes, home-front heroines and influential women through the ages from Oswestry and Llangollen. More details can be found at http://oswestrytownmuseum.co.uk