Kelsborrow heritage

The hillfort is defined by steep cliffs to the south-west and south-east, with the curving arc of a rampart enclosing the northern side, forming a wedge-shaped enclosure. The upstanding earthwork remains of the hillfort are limited to a large rampart bank that has been spread by later ploughing.

The rampart earthwork survives to the greatest extent on the eastern side where an external ditch is also evident. Limited archaeological excavation and geophysical survey took place in 1973 and 1996, which provided data relating to the extents of the bank and ditch, as well as the suggestion of pits and structures surviving within the interior of the fort.

Kelsborrow Hillfort

Kelsborrow Hillfort

Reconstruction drawing of Kelsborrow Hillfort by Dai OwenThe main ongoing erosion threat to the monument is the potential for further ploughing and agricultural improvements on the hillfort ramparts and interior, where the land is occasionally ploughed. Livestock erosion in the form of trampled tracks is currently occurring on the ramparts and interior of the hillfort. Erosion is also taking place upon the rampart and interior from farm vehicles causing wheel rutting, particularly of the western rampart top.

Erosion is particularly acute on the densely wooded south-western slope, with the additional risk of tree throws. Scrub and bracken have also encroached into the southern edge of the promontory, whilst rabbit burrows and scrapes and mole hills are causing damage on the south of the hillfort enclosure.

Proactive land management is at present only occurring on the hillfort in the form of statutory protection and limiting of ploughing depth on the monument through English Heritage “Class Consent”. The hillfort was designated at low risk during an earlier Monuments at Risk survey because of limited erosion on the monument. The survey conducted during the present Scheme disagrees with this assessment and designation, and recommends that it should be amended and rated as high risk as the hillfort is subject to occasional ploughing.