Hillforts of Britain and Ireland - an overview of a monument type from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Annual joint lecture with NNAS
Prof Gary Lock (University of Oxford) and Prof Ian Ralston (University of Edinburgh)
Norwich Castle Museum
An aerial image of Beacon Hill hillfort (Damian Grady. Copyright Historic England Archive.)


The compilation of an Atlas of the Hillforts of Britain and Ireland and of the underlying database, online since 2017, provided the opportunity to reassess these iconic and much-discussed sites at a scale not hitherto attempted in these islands. This contribution will range over some of the key issues encountered in melding various regional approaches to their classification and study since Victorian times on the one hand, to discussing, on the other, some of the new insights derived from the consideration of 4147 sites, 3532 of which are considered as confirmed hillforts, distributed from the Scillies to the Northern Isles to the Atlantic shores of Ireland.

Photo: Damian Grady. Copyright Historic England Archive.