Piercefield Great Camp

Iron Age Hillfort

Piercefield Great Camp, also known as Pierce Wood Camp 1, is an oblong hillfort and is located on a prominent spur, strategically positioned on precipitous and rocky slopes that form its northern boundary, directly overlooking a significant bend of the River Wye to dominate the river. It is adjacent to Piercefield Little Camp (or Pierce Wood Camp 2) to the west, and there could be a connection between the two sites. The area is densely wooded, similar to many of the major sites along this part of the Wye. The cliffs above the river may have eroded, causing some loss of the site. The northern, eastern, and western sides of the hillfort have precipitous slopes towards the river, while the southwestern side has moderate slopes. There is nothing on the northwest side due to the precipitous Piercefield Cliffs. The hillfort measures approximately 388 meters by 110 meters, with an internal area of 4.16 hectares.

The main defence of the hillfort consists of impressive double banks with medial ditches on the southwestern side, where the ground slopes away less steeply. Outside the inner bank on the southwestern side, there is a shallow ditch approximately 1 meter deep on the outside, which continues around the end and becomes narrower before petering out before the scarp. The outer bank is made of earth, with a slight internal height and an external height of 2.5 meters. Outside the outer bank is a ditch approximately 2 meters wide and 1.5 meters deep on the outside. These defences continue almost to the edge of the scarp but stop, leaving a narrow neck.

On the long south-eastern side, the bank or wall is now reduced to a low band of tumbled stone, approximately 5-6 meters wide, with evidence of a berm. The entrance is situated in the southern corner, with a passage formed by the return of the bank to the east and west. A causeway leads through the ditch, followed by a recent, but now largely disused, path which appears as a slight hollow way inside the camp. Minimal investigations have been conducted at the site, and their exact dating remains uncertain.

Sites near Piercefield Great Camp