Funding bid to help preserve ‘internationally important’ Worlebury hill fort after vandalism

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 October 2017

Alessandra Perrone Heritage @ Risk Officer for Historic England, and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.

Alessandra Perrone Heritage @ Risk Officer for Historic England, and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.

Archant

A major funding bid is underway to preserve an ancient monument in Weston which is classified as being ‘at risk’ due to repeated vandalism.

Some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.Some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.

Worlebury hill fort, which is thought to have been created as a form of defence 700 years before the Romans arrived on British shores, is described as an ‘outstanding’ example of its type.

However, vandals moved parts of the structure, which is in Weston Woods, and Historic English re-registered it from being in a ‘vulnerable’ condition to ‘at risk’.

The Worlebury Hill Fort Group stepped in to save it and criticised North Somerset Council for not doing enough to remove the trees which are destroying the fort.

It also said the council needed to install clearer signs to deter people from moving anything of archeological importance.

MORE: Antisocial behaviour means hill fort is now at risk.

With the support of the Hill Fort Group, the council is planning to apply for funding to secure the fort’s future.

If successful, the first grant for around £10,000 will pay for surveys to be carried out to assess what needs to be done.

It is expected the council may then bid for £200,000 to carry out works around the site.

A council spokesman said: “We are in the process of making an application to the lottery to get funding for a consultant to help us preserve the site.

“The aim is to fully evaluate this scheduled ancient monument and get expert opinion on how to stop the decline of this important site. We are working with volunteers and the local community to help achieve this.”

Cat Lodge Archaeologist for North Somerset Council, Michael Gorely Heritage School Historic England, Alessandra Perrone Heritage @ Risk Officer for Historic England, and William Fraher and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the grain pit cleared by volunteers this spring.Cat Lodge Archaeologist for North Somerset Council, Michael Gorely Heritage School Historic England, Alessandra Perrone Heritage @ Risk Officer for Historic England, and William Fraher and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the grain pit cleared by volunteers this spring.

William Fraher, chairman of the Hill Fort Group, said the monument is of international importance and must be preserved for future generations.

MORE: ‘Importance of hill fort must be promoted for future generations’.

John Martel, the group’s treasurer, said in a letter to support the council’s funding bid: “We would like to raise the profile of the hill fort.

“We want Weston to have an image which proudly traces its heritage back to the Iron Age, showcasing the international importance of Worlebury 
hill fort.

“Our hill fort is a strong example, with ease of access and a location which is part of a seaside resort.

“It can act as a ‘poster-child’ for Iron Age hill forts in general and can help to raise the awareness of a little understood moment in time. We believe its variety of features can feed the imagination of old and young alike.”

William Fraher from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age grain pits now at risk from tree growth and fallen trees.William Fraher from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age grain pits now at risk from tree growth and fallen trees.

William Fraher and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.William Fraher and John Martel from Worlebury Hill Fort Group with some of the iron age stone work that has been disturbed.

Alessandra Perrone, from Historic England, and John Martel with some of the disturbed stonework.Alessandra Perrone, from Historic England, and John Martel with some of the disturbed stonework.

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