DERBYSHIRE HERITAGE Derbyshire Peak District - higger-tor

Carl Wark from Higger Tor Carl Wark rampart
Carl Wark from Higger Tor
Carl Wark rampart
Carl Wark has been described as 'amongst the most spectacular and easily accessible hillforts in the country'. It lies 380m asl and encloses an area of about 2 acres. On the vulnerable, naturally unprotected side, a high 100 feet long rampart has been constructed and faced with a wall of grit stone boulders. As much as 60 tons of boulders were used some ten feet long by three feet thick to build the rampart to a height of ten feet or more.
In the 1950's the site was excavated by Mr F. G. Simpson who found that the interior of the rampart was composed of turf and suggested that Carl Wark dated back to the 5th or 6th century AD due to its similarities with Dark Age forts in Southern Scotland. This theory was disputed on the grounds that the 'inturned' entrance was similar to other Iron Age hillforts.
After excavations at Gardom's Edge it was suggested that a Neolithic enclosure may be the most likely explanation. However Carl Wark does not cover an area large enough for a settlement suggesting that people did not live here and if it was a refuge from attack then there is no water supply so a siege situation would soon be resolved.
Unless Carl Wark is the most easily defended location the natural choice of location for a hillfort would be the highest ground so why wasn't Higger Tor chosen if this is the case?
Until a professional archaeological survey is carried out then the history of this spectacular place will always be open to conjecture.
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