Work to begin at Norton Hillfort
22 January 2021
Council news, Community
Norton Fitzwarren Hillfort is one of the hidden archaeological gems of Somerset whose origins can be traced back over 5,000 years.
SWT has now secured significant funding from Historic England to begin a programme of works to enhance both the archaeology and ecology of the site. This is in addition to funding received in 2018 for SWT to acquire the site.
Norton Hillfort contains important archaeological remains that require management over the coming years in order to preserve and protect its ancient earthworks, enhance the site and ultimately remove it from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
The first phase of work to reverse many years of neglect will start this winter with scrub clearance and tree management in order to open up the site for future use and to bring the site back into good order.
Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Asset Management at SWT, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to preserve and enhance this nationally important site through partnership working.
“The residents of Norton Fitzwarren are fortunate to have a wonderful ancient monument in their midst. It is hoped that in time the whole site will become an accessible open space for the whole community.”
Charlotte Russell, Heritage at Risk project officer for Historic England South West, said: “Norton Fitzwarren Hillfort is a remarkable monument with a bright new future. We know the fort was important to generations of people throughout prehistory, and it continues to inspire and intrigue us today. We are delighted to be a funding partner to this exciting project.”
The Council and Historic England have been working with the South West Heritage Trust (SWHT) and Norton Fitzwarren Parish Council to protect the Hillfort which is a nationally important scheduled ancient monument.
Discussions are being finalised in order to transfer the archaeological management of the site to the South West Heritage Trust who look after many similar sites in Somerset with their specialist help and advice.
The SWHT, will work with Norton Fitzwarren Parish Council and other groups to provide opportunities for the community to celebrate the hillfort and become involved in projects including the provision of open-air trails, wildflower meadows and forest school activities.