North Devon Coast

National Landscape

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Hillsborough Hillfort

Iron Age Logo

Hillsborough is the second largest hillfort in North Devon.

With a linear row of ramparts that stretch from Raparee on one side  to Hele Bay on the other, this is a fine example of a cliff top ‘promontory’ hillfort. As the name suggests, these hillforts cut off spurs of land by making use of the natural defence provided by steep-sided cliffs. 

Hillsborough’s lofty, prominent position undoubtedly served to make a statement. Whether arriving by land or by sea the hillfort marked an important place and displayed the local chief’s power.

Iron Age silhouette and screen grab

Hillsborough interactive 3D model                               Hillsborough site guide

 Friends of Hillsborough

The Friends of Hillsborough, who are based on the edge of Ilfracombe are developing a new “online interpretation trail” on the former Iron Age Hillfort, which is also a Local Nature Reserve.
The Friends Group with help from landowners North Devon Council and with financial assistance from the North Devon Coast AONB, through their new Defra Access Fund, have produced a series of 5 new information posts, which are to be placed around the site. These posts provide basic information about the main points of interest on the site.

  1. Victorian Connections – the Victorian origins of the site, originally purchased for the town in 1895;
  2. Roundhouse – the Iron Age Hillfort, designated a Scheduled Monument;
  3. Victorian Gun Battery – the Victorian Gun battery above Beacon Point, where a new viewpoint has been created;
  4. Harbour View – a brief history of Ilfracombe harbour from one of the many viewpoints, which the site overlooks
  5. Nature Conservation – and how the District Council and Friends Group are managing the site for the benefit of nature conservation

You can find out more about the group by visiting the Friends of Hillsborough Facebook site