School of History, Classics & Archaeology

The atlas of hillforts of Britain and Ireland: results, implications and wider contexts

HCA Ralston

This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded 'Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland' project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project. Attendance is free, but ticketed. In collaboration with University of Oxford.

Schedule at a Glance

Friday 23 June


Chair – Dr Eileen Wilkes, Principal Academic, Bournemouth University, and Chair, Hillfort Study Group

18.00-19.00 Professor Ian Ralston, Abercromby Professor of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh – The hillforts of Britain and Ireland: The background to the Atlas project

Saturday 24 June

Chair – Mr Mark Bowden, Senior Investigator and Team Manager, Historic England, Swindon

  • 9.00-10.00 Dr Ian Brown, Research Associate, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford – Hillforts of England & Wales: An overview; diversity captured
  • 10.00-11.00 Dr James O’ Driscoll, Post-Doctoral Researcher & Professor William O’Brien, Department of Archaeology, University College, Cork, Ireland – The hillfort in prehistoric Ireland

11.00-11.30 coffee

  • Chair – Mr Ken Murphy, Chief Executive, Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Carmarthenshire
  • 11.30-12.00 Mr Jonathan A Horn, Postgraduate Student, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh – Building a chronology of hillforts for Britain and Ireland
  • 12.00-13.00 Mr Stratford Halliday, Honorary Associate, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh – Architectures of local and regional power; forts and fortification in Scotland

13.00-14.30 lunch

Chair – Dr Rachel Pope, Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool

  • 14.30-15.00 Dr Jessica Murray, Assistant Archaeologist, Arcadis, Stroud, Gloucestershire – A GIS-based investigation of morphological directionality at hillforts in Britain: the visual perspective
  • 15.00-16.00 Dr Gordon Noble, Senior Lecturer and Head of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen – Materialising power in early medieval Britain: forts and rulership

16.00-16.30 coffee

Chair – Dr Kate Waddington, Lecturer in Archaeology, Bangor University

  • 16.30-17.00 Mr Simon Maddison, Associate Researcher, Institute of Archaeology, University College London – Using Atlas data: the distribution of Hillforts in Britain and Ireland
  • 17.00-17.30 Emeritus Professor Gary Lock, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford – Aspects of the Atlas: Citizen Science and the online database
  • 17.30-18.00 Professor Niall Sharples, Professor in Archaeology, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University - General discussion 

Sunday 25 June

Chair – Emeritus Professor John Collis, University of Sheffield

Nearer European comparanda

  • 9.00-10.00 Dr Fernando Rodriguez Cueto, Profesor Asociado, Departmento de Historia, Universidad de Oviedo, Asturias, Spain – Hillforts of NW Iberia: views and approaches based on their distribution
  • 10.00-11.00 Dr Sophie Krausz, Maître de conférences HDR, Protohistoire européenne, Université de Bordeaux Montaigne-Ausonius UMR5607, France – Iron Age fortifications in France

11.00- 11.30 coffee

  • 11.30-12.30 Dr Axel Posluschny , Head of Research Centre, Keltenwelt am Glauberg, Glauburg, Hesse, Germany – Hillforts and Oppida - Fortified Settlements in Southern Germany
  • 12.30-13.00 General discussion  



The atlas of hillforts of Britain and Ireland: results, implications and wider contexts

The AHRC Hillforts Atlas Final conference will take place on 23-25 June, 2017 and will explore some of the results of the project and to set these into wider contexts.. (Published 16 Feb, 2017)

Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower, Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE