Maesbury Castle

Maesbury Castle

Maesbury Castle is our local Iron Age hill fort that sits on the top of the Mendip Hills within our adjoining parish of Croscombe, along side the old salt road to Salisbury.  The name is derived from maes, meaning field or plain in Brythonic Welsh, and burh, meaning fort in Old English.

There is also a record of the name Merksburi in 705 AD, meaning boundary fort. The area was a boundary between the Romano-British Celts and West Saxons during the period 577-652 AD, when the nearby Wansdyke fortification comprised part of the border.

The enclosure has an area of 2.5 ha, and lies at a height of 292 m (950 ft), with spectacular views in many directions. This includes the Somerset Levels to Glastonbury Tor to the south west and Brent Knoll to the north west which are the closest and probably the most easily identifiable landmarks from the site.

The fort has a single rampart up to 6 m high, with an outer ditch (univallate).  Entrances are to the south-east and north-east (with possible outworks).

It has been listed as Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Maesbury Castle photo by Sharon Loxton. The fort lies on a 290m hill to the west of the village of Oakhill.  The view here shows the ditch and rampart, now quite overgrown, on the southwest side of the hill fort.