The Archaeology and History of Bredon Hill
by Deborah Overton
Thursday 28th May 2015
The Society (and a few visitors) were taken by Deborah Overton for a stroll up Bredon Hill on 28th May. Deborah, a retired landscape archaeologist, guided her audience on a trip back through time to the Neolithic period.
This was a walk taken in our imaginations, however.
We “walked” up the hill, starting at the abandoned medieval village of Woollashill (near Woollas Hall), Woollashill village, on only marginally fertile land, was abandoned in the 16th century, after a gradual decay as people died or migrated, while the Jacobean Woollas Hall probably stands on the site of the medieval manor house.
Ascending the hill, we passed the location of St Katharine’s Chapel, which served the village, and of the Holy Well which was the only source of water for the dwellers in the Iron Age Hill Fort at the summit.
Bredon Hill also boasts Saxon and Roman remains – a pagan Saxon cemetery at Bredon’s Norton for example; Roman farmsteads dotted around the slopes of the hill, and a high status Roman villa also at Bredon’s Norton.
At the summit, Parson’s Folly Tower stands at the centre of the Iron Age Fort – Kemerton Camp. The remains of Iron Age round houses are scattered within the fort. Also near the summit, a round barrow dating from the Beaker Period (excavated in 1963) yielded the remains of a man and a woman.