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CASTLE DITCH

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  EDDISBURY HILLFORT
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An Iron Age bivallate hillfort of 3.5 hectares. The ramparts are fairly well preserved as earthworks, although damaged in places by quarrying. On the north-east side, where best preserved, the inner rampart is 15 meters in width and 0.6 metres high internally and 4 metres externally; the inner ditch is 10 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep. The outer rampart is 16 metres in width and 2 metres high internally and 5.5 metres externally. There is no outer ditch. Any surface remains that may have existed in the interior have been levelled by ploughing. Excavations by Varley in 1935-8 revealed, according to the excavator, an early Iron Age palisaded enclosure succeeded by a univallate hillfort, later modified to a bivallate contour fort. It was then claimed that it was destroyed by the Romans and then re-occupied as an open site in the 4th-6th and 6th-8th centuries. In 914 AD Eddisbury is documented as a Saxon burh, although it was probably only short-lived since there was no mint there. Various aspects of Varley's conclusions, especially relating to the chronological sequence, have been questioned.

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