We’ve been sent this highly relevant message from our friend, regular Heritage Journal contributor Sue Brooke.

Just read your Oswestry blog. There are some comparisons here with my hill. In fact, shame for me to say this, but I literally live in the fortifications of the Caerau fort. The picture of my garden below highlights just how far into these defences the houses were built:


The concrete wall does actually hold back the trees within the defensive ditches. If you also look at the images available on the CAER website you can see how far the housing estates have crept in, this is particularly evident in the LIDAR image (PDF link, see pages 4/5).

This is what they are planning in Oswestry. In the Caerau case the 1800’s stables and later hospital had already made the inroads. It was only well after the isolation hospital closed that my housing estate was built here. The damage was actually already done by then and Oswestry needs to learn the lessons from this. The local councillor at that time kicked off big time, interestingly enough only about the ancient woodlands, which she demanded would not be affected. Don’t forget, the value of the site wasn’t widely known at that point. There is a huge difference now though in that any planning application MUST consider the impact on the history. OK, its a little bit late but at least it is now to the forefront. A  recent planning application for a solar park categorically states that it must not impact on the view from the hillfort. Interesting.

Perhaps they need a Mrs Angry from Oswestry out there. A Welsh one, by the look of things as us Welsh seem to be a little bit more inclined to shout our heads off – we managed to get something done here in Wales – but then we have always been a formidable enemy (paid or not!).

This hillfort (Oswestry) should be protected and there should not be housing anywhere near the fortifications – it just is not something that we, as intelligent and supposedly educated people should be allowing to happen.