The Malvern Hills, a dramatic ridge of ancient volcanic rocks along the western edge of the Severn valley, are known archaeologically almost exclusively for two large and prominent Iron Age hillforts - British Camp and Midsummer Hill - that crown the ridge. Forming a socio-political boundary from at least the Bronze Age, they were also a ritual landscape throughout prehistory and into the medieval period, especially for the importance of numerous springs of pure water. In 1999 the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (now part of English Heritage), with a number of partners, embarked on an investigation of the hillforts and other well-known sites, and an exploration of the Hills more widely, as a landscape of special archaeological interest. The project involved documentary research, aerial survey and fieldwork and the most significant results are presented here. Although not especially rich in the types of monuments that have traditionally drawn archaeologists, by considering the landscape as a whole it is possible to draw inferences about the way the Hills were viewed and used by dwellers in the surrounding country.
These will inform management and conservation initiatives on and around the Hills, as well as future research programmes.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 03 / 2005
- 219 x 276mm