A large group gathered in the car park for the visit with David Crawford-White, of Heritage Learning Services, on 30 April. Luckily the sun was out and had dried the grass for us. This is an unusual site to say the least – not only is it the lowest ‘hill fort’ in the country at 2m above sea level, but despite being a Scheduled Monument, the site had almost been lost to ploughing in the 1960s, so what the visitor sees today is a ‘renovation’ of the original banks and ditches. This does make the layout of the site very clear, and David was able to explain to us the likely phases of development and the strategic reasons for the shape of the site, which was originally situated on the defendable southern tip of an island in the fen wetland. He also gave us a very clear account of the various theories about the site – was it the site of the battle described by Tacitus? Was the nearby massive Roman building (no longer visible on the ground) the administration block of a Roman Imperial estate or a major temple? Only further investigation can solve this. David also brought along a collection of finds, from the site, the highlight of which was a child’s skull with its sword-inflicted injuries.
Photos by Vicki Harley