Heritage events explore hillfort’s cultural value, from archaeology to mental health

Discovering heritage makes us feel good, research has shown, and one Shropshire hillfort will be highlighting why as part of a forthcoming national festival.

A stunning approach to Oswestry hillfort via a public pathway through a cornfield. Photo: Graham Mitchell
A stunning approach to Oswestry hillfort via a public pathway through a cornfield. Photo: Graham Mitchell

A day of walks and crafts this Sunday 15 September will explore the role of Old Oswestry hillfort and its landscape during Britain’s Iron Age and also for personal creativity, health and mental well-being.

The event is a collaboration between Oswestry Heritage Gateway, Jolt   Designs in Mind and the Old Oswestry Hillfort Creativity Group, and one of many featured in the Oswestry and Beyond discovery programme for Heritage Open Days running September 13-22.

Activities will be based at Oswestry’s Gatacre Pavilion with its inspirational views of one of Britain’s’ finest Iron Age hillforts.

From 11 am to 2 pm, Jolt Designs in Mind will be running a workshop where people can create and print a hillfort-inspired, linocut greetings card to take home. Participants can also enjoy a signposted mindfulness walk on the hillfort, a chance to connect with both heritage and nature and experience the well-being they can bring.

Leading the first hillfort tour at 11 am will be archaeologist and heritage landscape expert, Tim Malim. He will describe the history and purpose of the hillfort from a number of vantage points, highlighting details of the rampart construction and the monument’s commanding views over the landscape. Mr Malim will also explain the hillfort’s links with features of the surrounding landscape, that together form the rich tapestry of heritage of Oswestry’s northern gateway.

The afternoon walk at 2 pm will be led by Dr Rachel Pope, a senior lecturer in archaeology from The University of Liverpool, who will trace the architectural development of the hillfort from the Late Bronze Age (1000 BC) to the Late Iron Age (100 BC).  A widely-respected hillfort specialist, she will shed light on how and why Old Oswestry was built and the role it played within the prehistoric landscape.

Volunteers will be running a ‘Hillfort Tearoom’ offering refreshments for participants as well as members of the public who want to find out more about the ‘Stonehenge of the Iron Age’.  

Sensible footwear and clothing are advised for those taking part in the walks due to the hillfort’s uneven terrain and areas of vegetation cover.

For more details, go to https://www.facebook.com/OldOswestryHillfort and  https://www.facebook.com/events/341091856779434/ or contact the Oswestry Heritage Gateway on 01691 652918. 

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