Old Oswestry - History and Facts | History Hit

Old Oswestry

Image Credit: John Hayward / Alamy Stock Photo

About Old Oswestry

Old Oswestry is a well-preserved hillfort in north west Shropshire.

History of Old Oswestry

Old Oswestry is an impressive muti-vallate hillfort along the Welsh Marches with commanding views of Shropshire, North and Mid Wales, and Cheshire. It was occupied between the 9th century BC and the 1st century AD. Old Oswestry’s dense pattern of multiple ramparts (“multi-vallate”) made it a formidable defensive site, while they also projected power over the landscape and its people.

Old Oswestry was probably the principal settlement of a tribal group in Iron Age Britain. There were four main phases of construction, during which additional ramparts were added to the fort. After its abandonment, the hillfort was incorporated into a defensive or symbolic earthwork known as Wat’s Dyke.

The hillfort was used during World War One as a military training area. Shallow craters on the site are evidence of explosives training during this time.

Old Oswestry today

Old Oswestry was designated a scheduled monument in 1934. The site is managed by English Heritage and accessible to walkers.

Plans to develop the landscape around historic Old Oswestry hillfort for housing have caused ongoing controversy, with development plans confronted by a campaign backed by archaeologists and local residents.

Getting to Old Oswestry

Old Oswestry is free to access. A quarter mile from the hillfort is a free car park located at Gatacre Avenue.

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