Oakley Wood Camp

Iron age fort…

Venture into one section of Oakley Wood and explore the banks and ditches which are thought by some academics and local historians to be the remains of an iron age fort or settlement.  It is roughly triangular in form, though it actually has five sides and covers approximately 9 acres.

On the North side it still has quite a formidable rampart which is 12 ft in height and 27 ft wide at the base. In some places, a second rampart and ditch are visible, possibly constructed to protect a clan or family.  All around this area of the wood are more banks and ditches which could have formed outworks to the main fort.

….or medieval forestry

The fort theory has been discounted by one archaeologist as the shape of the earthworks is not consistent with Iron Age hill forts in Warwickshire. It appears to be linked to other ditches, again not consistent with Iron Age hill forts. Furthermore, not all the banks appear to have been constructed at the same time. An alternative theory is that the feature is part of medieval or later woodland management.  Fieldwork would be necessary to provide more data about the earthworks. They are currently a Scheduled Ancient Monument, probably based on the interpretation of the banks and ditches as a hill fort.

Unfortunately no artifacts have as yet been uncovered. All assumptions are based purely on observation.

The word Oakley itself means ‘clearing in the wood’ and appears to be of Saxon origin with the word ‘wood’ incorrectly added later.

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