Little Doward Hillfort, Herefordshire

The earthworks of Little Doward hillfort and its associated landscape were surveyed in January to March 2009, at the request of and with the assistance of Herefordshire Archaeology.  Woodland was cleared from the interior of the hillfort in 2008 by the owners, the Woodland Trust, in association with the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The area will now be grazed and managed for conservation.  Survey was required to inform the conservation management of the site and its presentation to the general public.  The late prehistoric hillfort occupies a limestone massif on the north bank of the Wye, which includes dramatic landforms such as cliffs and caves. 

It comprises two parts, an upper NW enclosure and a lower SE enclosure; the latter is probably the primary site of activity and could relate to significant Bronze Age burials in the locality.  Within the fort are the remains of a rabbit warren, of medieval or post-medieval date, and traces of iron mining.

survey work at Little Doward.

Mapping an ancient quarry below the hillfort with hand-held GPS 

The surrounding landscape was transformed from common land in the early 19th century, by Richard Blakemore MP, into a private deer park and pleasure grounds. Remains of landscaping works undertaken in the second quarter of the 19th century are striking and abundant.

19th century stone, Little Doward

One of the stones erected by Richard Blakemore in the 19th century to adorn his pleasure grounds 

For more information contact English Heritage's Swindon office on 01793 414700


Mark Bowden
Senior Investigator
Heritage Protection Department
t: 01793 414766