Friday, July 04, 2014

Hembury Hillfort

Hembury Hillfort is situated on a promontory just to the northwest of Honiton in East Devon and is approximately 170 metres above sea level. It dates from the fifth millenium B.C. and is thought to have been the capital for the Dumnonii tribe of Celts who lived across Devon and Cornwall.

A small lane leads up to a car park situated next to a woodland walk, but to get to the fort you have to cross back over the road and head south through the beech woods. The fort has extensive and large ramparts now mostly covered by beech and other types of trees. There is a reasonably easy walk around the earthworks although the path is overgrown and difficult to locate in certain areas. Occasionally there are brief glimpses of the view from the top, mostly towards the west. The west side also seems lighter than the east but the hill drops away sharply on both. In atmosphere the place seems comfortable and easy, and is a good place for pottering and picnics. There is birdlife and a lot of butterfly action when I visited in June. As with many of the forts there are not a lot of people around, mostly dogwalkers and during our visit in June we only heard two other people. The beech trees are very good around here, all mature and mostly unmarked by initial carving. The enclosure is fairly well covered in summer by a dense growth of bracken and brambles, so exploration of this would be better achieved in winter. These photos were taken in August 2013.