Ambresbury Banks between the Wake arms Roundabout and Epping is another late Iron Age earthwork in the area of Loughton, where I spent much of my teenage years. The fort encompasses an area of 4.5 hectares (11 acres) and is surrounded by a bank of up to 2 m in height, and an impressive ditch in places, which today is quite shallow but once was up to three metres deep and six metres wide. The site has been examined archaeologically 9 times, the first excavation conducted by Augustus Pitt-Rivers in 1881. The defences today have 6 major breaks in their circumference: only one appears to be original. This is approached from the north west by a trapezoidal causeway. The ends of the bank at this point were revetted with coursed pudding stone blocks.
Finds at the site have included flints and flint arrow heads and shards of red, grey and black pottery, which suggest a construction date of around 700 BC and occupation until 42 AD. The hill fort today lies in Epping Forest although it is right next to the B1393 Epping to Loughton road. The area within is completely wooded and crossed by a few paths which are supposed to be only for walkers, for Ambresbury Banks is a scheduled monument, but some use them for motorbikes and cycles because they don’t seem to care about the past.
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