Nordy Bank

Nordy Bank is a British Iron Age hill fort on Brown Clee Hill in the Shropshire Hills, England. The Nordy Bank hill fort is located on a sloping defensible spur of the Clee Hills at 343 metres above sea level overlooking Corve Dale and Wenlock Edge. It is the last intact survivor of three iron age hill forts on Brown Clee. The other two, at Abdon Burf and Clee Burf, have been largely lost to quarrying. With ramparts up to three metres high it was built some time during the first millennium BC and gives a commanding view of the countryside.

"The monument includes the remains of a slight univallate hillfort which occupies a strong defensive position on Nordy Bank, the western tip of a spur of high ground running west from the main plateau of Brown Clee Hill. The hillfort is roughly oval in plan, the earthworks having maximum dimensions of some 260m east to west by 198m north to south and enclosing an area of approximately 3.2ha. The defences include a substantial and well defined rampart averaging 1.5m high around all but the east side, where it is up to 2.8m high. The outer face averages 4.2m in height, falling to an outer ditch varying between 8m and 5m wide and averaging 1.5m deep. The line of the ditch is disturbed around the south east quarter of the site where later surface quarrying has encroached onto the earthworks. There are five entrances to the interior of the enclosure, two of which appear to be original features. The main entrance is believed to lie at the north east corner of the hillfort facing the natural approach along the ridge top. Here the northern section of ditch is interrupted by a causeway across the ditch 9m wide. The rampart is also interrupted at this point, although the entrance gap is only 3m wide and offset from the line of the causeway, slightly to the north. Such offsetting was designed to deflect any direct approach to the interior of the site, particularly by mounted attackers. Both sides of the rampart curve slightly inwards to create a simple in-turned entrance. A broadening and lowering of the ramparts flanking this entrance suggest that guard house structures once controlled this gateway. The strong defensive engineering at this entrance reflectsan awareness of vulnerability to attack from the rising ground to the south east. A second entrance lies approximately midway along the south side, here again the ditch is interrupted by an unexecuted section rather than crossed by a made-up causeway and the ramparts curve very slightly inwards to form an entrance gap 3m wide. This entrance lies above a steep south slope which would have made attack from this direction difficult, there is therefore less emphasis on defence at this gate though it is thought to be an original feature. Three other entrances through the rampart lie midway along the west side, midway along the north side, and in the south east quarter. All appear modern; the rampart having been pushed into the ditch to form a causeway. The gap in the south east corner is probably associated with the surface quarrying which has damaged the ditch for a length of 50m as well as a small length of the rampart and a part of the interior.

The interior of the site is divided into two main areas; a raised level area in the east and a lower area, also level, in the west, reflecting the natural topography. Along the inner side of the south rampart the surface appears to have been slightly scooped to form a shallow hollow 15m wide and 0.3m deep. This hollow is believed to be the result of surface scraping to provide material for the construction of the low inner bank around this side. Within the rampart the interior surface shows extensive, though slight, irregularities which indicate the survival of buried remains of structures relating to the occupation of the site. These are particularly clear in the north west quarter of the site, where a rectangular building platform 8m square can be recognised linked to a curving scarp 0.3m high. Two low turf covered mounds can also be recognised in this area, the more westerly is 5m in diameter and 0.4m high, the more northerly 3m in diameter and 0.2m high. They are thought to represent clearance cairns. The slopes of the hill below the hillfort around all sides show evidence of bell-pits and linear opencast mines. These medieval and later features are worthy of note but are not included within the scheduling." - Scheduling record,English Heritage,1994,Scheduling Papers (Revision, 17/05/1994).