Old Oswestry Hillfort and its Landscape: Ancient Past, Uncertain Future
Old Oswestry is considered to be one of England's most precious archaeological jewels, described by Sir Cyril Fox in the 1930s as 'the outstanding work of the Early Iron Age type on the Marches of Wales', and its design is unique amongst hillforts in the UK. Located on the edge of the Shropshire Plain and just a kilometre north of the market town of Oswestry, the hillfort (and its hinterland landscape) can trace activity through artefactual evidence back at least 5000 years, with the last 3000 years evident as earthworks. The reader will notice that little in the way of archaeological investigation has occurred within the hillfort, and indeed, more excavation took place when its internal space became a training ground for trench warfare during World War I than through any academic endeavour.
Old Oswestry Hillfort and its Landscape: Ancient Past, Uncertain Future, organised into 14 well-crafted chapters, charts the archaeology, folklore, heritage and landscape development of one of England's most enigmatic monuments, from the Iron Age, through its inclusion as part of an early medieval boundary between England and Wales, to its role during World War I when, between 1915 and 1918, over 4000 troops (including Oswestry's own great war poet Wilfrid Owen), were being trained at any one time for the Western Front.
This book also discusses in detail the recent threats to the monument's special landscape from insensitive development and its alternative potential to act as a heritage gateway for the recreational and economic benefit of Oswestry and surrounding communities.