Pontesford and Earl’s Hill

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The ramparts of Earl's Hill Camp hillfort. Shropshire Council

The ramparts of Earl’s Hill Camp hillfort. Shropshire Council

The Iron Age defines these two hills.  On the summit of Earl’s Hill rests the impressive ramparts of a large (multiphase) hillfort. Visible for miles in all directions, it must have been an impressive statement of local clan power. Less well known and hidden by trees is the smaller hillfort below it on Pontesford Hill. Adding to the complexity of the site is a Bronze Age cross dyke.  Whether a defensive feature or boundary is not known, however it does seem to guard the top of the Craft Valley that divides the southern side of the hill.

Pontesford and Pontesbury lie within the Shropshire Coalfield. The area around is studded with mining remains and spoil tips, now mostly disguised by nature, houses and farmland.  The coal fuelled the lead industry. Two smelters once ran in Pontesford turning ore from Snailbeach into wealth with help from Pontesford coal.

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