Eddisbury heritage

The hillfort at Eddisbury has the most extensive system of visible ramparts of all of the hillforts of the Sandstone Ridge. The upstanding earthwork remains of the ramparts are most clearly visible in the northern and north-western areas of the hillfort. At the eastern side of the fort the defences become gradually more slight and at the southern side of the fort the natural cliff faces and scarps delineate the edge of the plateau.

 The centre of the hillfort is a large ploughed field, which has been under cultivation since at least the nineteenth century, and contains an old disused quarry. The western area of the interior is under improved pasture.

The hillfort at Eddisbury

The hillfort at Eddisbury

 The enclosure at Merrick’s Hill, on the south east side of the hillfort, was used as a habitation site in the medieval and post-medieval periods as a forester’s lodge and later residence, and building foundations still survive.

 The main ongoing threat to the monument is that of continued ploughing of the large interior enclosure of the hillfort. The north and eastern sides of the monument are in the ownership of Forest Enterprise and livestock erosion in the form of trampled tracks has occurred on their land, along the top of the northern rampart and ditch, and the eastern rampart and slopes.

 Land on the west in the ownership of Old Pale Farm is under pasture, which is cut and rolled but not ploughed. Landscaping during and after the redevelopment of Old Pale Farm has impacted particularly badly upon the western edge of the hillfort ramparts and entrance and considerable damage has occurred.

 Erosion of the surviving building foundations in the Merrick’s Hill area is particularly acute where the trees are growing upon and within the structures. In addition, discrete stands of gorse vegetation have started to encroach onto the monument in isolated areas, on the northern and eastern ramparts and slopes.

 There is currently no proactive land management of the hillfort and works occurring on any of the hillfort landholdings do not take into consideration the significance of the archaeological resource. The hillfort was designated at high risk during an earlier Monuments at Risk survey, because of the ploughing and erosion on the monument. The Monuments at Risk survey conducted during the present Scheme agreed with this assessment and designation.