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Liddington castle

also known as Liddington Camp

Liddington, Wiltshire

Location Guide

Picture by Brian Robert Marshall

Liddington Castle is seen by many between junction 15 and 16 of the M4, sitting at high point on the edge of the Marlborough Downs. A little over half the size of Barbury Castle ,  not far away, it is not visited  by anything like as many people. The only route to this castle is a mile walk along a footpath, and with no car park or publicity, if you visit you are likely to be on your own. It is 50ft higher than Barbury Castle and has better views over the Marlborough Downs. It used to be famous for its views, but much of this has now been covered by Swindon, with the Great Western Hospital being a large chunk in the foreground.

The castle is thought to have had a single round house building in the middle, this is all that shows up on a geophysical survey. It has a single ditch (most have at least 2) and an entrance at the south east is defined by a few half buried Sarsen stones. Pottery from the early Iron Age has been found here and on the northern escarpment there are some Neolithic flint mines.

Liddington Castle was one of the earliest hill forts in Britain, with first occupation dating to the seventh century BC. The earthworks consist of a relatively simple oval bank of timber and earth, fronted by a ditch, with opposing causewayed entrances on the east and west sides. The western entrance was later blocked off and the eastern one may have been lined with Sarsen stones. A palisade of wooden posts may have lined the top of the bank. During a later phase the bank and ditch were improved and a rampart of dumped chalk, excavated from the enlarged ditch, increased the height of the bank.

Liddington Castle is sometimes suggested as a possible site of Mount Badon and the location of the late fifth century AD Battle of Mount Badon  in Arthurian myth. There is no archaeological evidence to indicate activity during this later period.

Paragliding:- you will often see paragliders/hanggliders coming off the top of this castle, for more information on paragliding here see Thames Valley Hang-gliding club site.

Like Barbury it is also a site that creates interest in crop circles, see some by clicking here.

Picture by Brian Robert Marshall

Picture by Brian Robert Marshall

Location: Liddington Castle, Liddington, Wiltshire

Grid Reference: SU209797 Ceremonial County: Wiltshire

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo:  Multimap        Google

Getting there: Via footpath

Access: footpath from the Ridgeway and from nearby roads
Other Useful Websites: Wikipedia digitaldigging Pegasusarchive megalithic
Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times: open all the time

Charges: none

Nearby Locations:  Barbury Castle        Uffington White Horse

Uffington Castle     Wayland Smithy

Other Location Pages: Ridgeway Path    
Other Relevant Pages:

Notes: Thames valley hang-gliding club site shows a map with parking and possibly other access possibilities, far nearer than the Ridgeway walk.


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By: Keith Park   Section: Heritage Key:
Page Ref: Liddington_castle Topic: Earthworks and Hill Forts    Last Updated: 04/2009


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