Lodge Wood Camp

Iron Age Hillfort

Lodge Wood camp is a rectangular hillfort located on a narrow ridge on the north-west edge of Caerleon. It is believed to date back to the Iron Age period, approximately between 800 BC and AD 74, during the Roman conquest of Wales. The hillfort is strategically positioned on a commanding spot with extensive views in all directions. It is protected by a series of banks and ditches, with a narrow entrance at the west end and an inner enclosure at the same end. The east end of the hillfort is defended by a massive, steep-sided bank measuring 4-5 meters in height. Towards the north-east corner, there are two outer banks, with the outermost one fading away quickly, and the middle one continuing around the corner and forming a scarp, as does the inner bank.

On the north side of the hillfort, the ground drops steeply, and the top of the slope has been scarped to create defences. The first scarp is 6-8 meters high, followed by a 5-meter wide berm, another scarp measuring 5 meters in height, and then another 5-meter wide berm. Below this, the ground drops very steeply into a ditch that is 2 meters wide and 1 meter deep on the outside. Outside the ditch, there is a bank measuring 4-5 meters in height on the outside, which runs at a slight angle away from the hillfort and stops about one third of the way along. There are a few small dry gullies running down the slope, and about two-thirds of the way along, there is a gap in the top scarp and a gully running diagonally across the scarps towards the north-west. The western third of this side is mainly covered with bracken and has few trees. The upper scarp is 4 meters high, and the middle scarp becomes a bank with an internal height of 1.2 meters and an external height of 6 meters. The scarp below it also becomes a bank measuring 0.7 meters in height on the inside and 4 meters in height on the outside.

As we move towards the west end, the banks become heavily wooded once again, and as they approach the entrance in the middle of the west side, they grow more imposing. The inner bank, at the entrance on its east side, rises to a height of 2 meters internally and 4 to 5 meters externally. There is then a 3-meter-wide ditch before the next bank, which reaches a height of 2.5 meters internally and 6 meters externally. Another 3-meter-wide ditch follows before another bank, 2.5 meters high internally. This bank slopes steeply for about 1 meter and then levels off before dropping 1.5 meters into the last ditch. Outside of this is a short stretch of low bank, 1 meter high. The entrance in the middle of the west side consists of gaps about 2 meters wide in the banks and causeways across the ditches. The gaps in the banks are 1.5 meters deep, and the causeways are approximately 1 meter high. Beyond the banks, the entrance path continues westward along the ridge, which gently slopes towards the west, forming a narrow gulley. To the south of the gulley is a rectangular hollow, 1.5 meters deep, and on the south side of this is a bank, 1.5 meters high, running east to west for a short distance. The banks, except for the small outermost one, continue south of the entrance, with very steep sides. The outer bank has a gap about 3 meters wide in it. This bank stops at the southwest corner, and another bank starts just inside it. The middle bank is even more massive here, reaching approximately 7 meters in height on the outside.

On the south side, the banks along this stretch are again steep-sided and well-preserved. In the western half of this side, there are three main banks separated by ditches that are 3 meters deep and 12 meters wide. The top bank has an internal height of about 1 meter at the western end, decreasing to zero further east, and an external height of 6 meters. The middle and lower banks have internal heights of approximately 2 meters and external heights of 5 meters and 4 meters respectively. In the middle of the lower ditch is a small bank about 6 meters wide and 0.4 meters high, which diminishes about one-third of the way along. Below the outer main bank is a shallow ditch about 4 meters wide, followed by a low bank that is 1 to 1.5 meters high. Beyond this, the ground slopes away towards the south, although not as steeply as on the north side. Towards the east, the banks are slightly lower, with external heights of 5 meters, 3 meters, and 3 meters from top to bottom, and internal heights of 0.5 meters, 2 meters, and 1.5 meters respectively. The inner bank then diminishes, and the middle bank becomes a scarp approximately 5 meters high. All that remains of the outer bank is a slight scarp approximately 0.5 meters high. These features continue to the southeast corner where they come to an end. Just outside the scarp at this point, there is a disused stone-built pigsty.

Beyond the lower scarp, in a serene grass field, stands a small grass-covered mound that rises about 2 meters in height. Its shape resembles an elongated oval, stretching from east to west. The eastern side of the mound is steep, and below it lies a ditch where Leyland cypress trees thrive. Further northeast, past the house and on the southwest side of the road, another oblong bank can be found, reaching approximately 1.5 meters in height. This bank, like the mound, is adorned with grass and young trees.

The southern end of the interior is covered with lush grass and scattered trees. Notably, there is a derelict cottage nestled inside the gap on the eastern side. To the northwest of the cottage, a quarry hole now lies overgrown, creating an uneven ground surface. The middle of the area boasts a serene grass field. At the western end of the hillfort, the field is blanketed with grass and bracken, and an inner enclosure can be observed. The inner enclosure takes a rectangular shape and is enclosed by a simple bank. The bank is highest at the eastern end, where it reaches an external height of 2 meters and an internal height of 1 meter. Elsewhere along the bank, the external height is approximately 1 meter, with an internal height ranging from 0 to 1 meter. Notably, there are gaps in the bank at the west end, serving as an entrance to the fort. The interior of the inner enclosure is predominantly flat, providing a distinct contrast to the surrounding landscape.

Visiting Lodge Wood Hillfort

Sites near Lodge Wood Camp