Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Uffington Castle

A-Z Challenge 2012 - U
 Uffington Castle

Uffington Castle sits on the northern face of the Berkshire Downs in Oxfordshire just to the south of the famous White Horse cut in the hillside. Its is designated as an ‘Iron Age Hillfort’ but archaeological finds suggest that it dates from the Bronze Age around 800 – 700 BC. The fort’s shape is defined by a single rampart as a rough pentagon; its importance to the early Celtic tribes was its position commanding the Ridgeway, the ancient track that runs across England from the coast near Dover to Illchester in Somerset.

Uffington Castle - 2009
It has been said that Uffington was Mount Badon where King Arthur defeated the Saxons in c AD518 and suggested that the White Horse is actually an effigy of the dragon slain by St George on the nearby natural chalk outcrop of Dragon Hill.

Uffington Castle - ditch and bank on south-east side - 2006
Uffington Castle does not appear to have been ever densely populated; despite evidence of buildings inside it wasn’t permanently occupied either. The fort may even have been a spiritual centre rather than a defensive structure. Wayland’s Smithy, a Neolithic burial chamber is a mere 1.1/4miles away along the Ridgeway and contributes to the area’s mystical and spiritual significance.

Hilary Melton-Butcher’s ‘T’ castle yesterday was Tintagel Castle, Cornwall.

  • Uffington Castle Uffington Castle on Whitehorse Hill viewed from the west 2009; author Philip Halling; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
  • Uffington Castle The ditch and bank on the southeast side. – 2006; author Andrew Smith; Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
  • Video: Uffington Hill Fort by Graeme Field


Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Seeing pictures likes this reminds me of how much I'd like to travel to history rich places. Alas, I cannot.

Jo said...

But was there ever anything there. I remember visiting a similar place in Cornwall, I think, and I found it rather boring because there was really nothing to look at.

I was disappointed neither of you chose Upnor.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I drove right past this on my way to Wales. I've read about the horse effigy and wanted to stop, but didn't have time. I think you might be right that the castle might have been more of a spiritual center or monument, though I suppose we'll never really know.

Julie Flanders said...

I love the White Horse, how fascinating. Amazing to imagine all the history of this place, I can almost see the mystical qualities just from the photos.

Rosalind Adam said...

I love that video. The place looks so peaceful and the music is so spiritual. Perfect for meditation :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. interesting that the Ridgeway features .. as my first Castle (Alfred's Castle) also an iron age hill fort is near the Ridgeway .. which passed from Lyme Regis on the south coast to Hunstanton in Norfolk, East Anglia and the north sea.

I love the video - really shows the man made aspects of it .. then the Neolithic burial chambers.

Great post - and shows English landscape at its summer best!

Cheers Hilary