Welcome ! This is a blog for people who want to be a friend of Wincobank Hill, for those who are fascinated, curious or concerned about the unique hill fort set high above Sheffield's Don Valley, encircled by ancient woodland that conceals the mysteries of history.

Who was here and why? Did they live, work or keep watch here? What part did this place play in the politics of an emerging nation? Was this the cradle of the British metal industry? And where was the water?

So many people are beginning to retell their stories, ask good questions and make suggestions that it's time to share what is happening ....

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sunshine ahead

Spring will soon be here and our lovely common will be blessed with sunshine daffodils thanks to the work of the volunteers who have been working with the North East Action Team to brighten up the neighbourhood by planting bulbs.  In the grey days of this everlasting depression flowers are a simple pleasure and joy.  Thank you.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Wincobank Lanterns Light Up the Hill 2012

 Over 250 people came together from local schools and across the area for a memorable and magical walk back through time to the days of the Roman occupation of Britain. 

Carrying willow and tissue lanterns made in school, the children and their families  set out in a procession led by drummers to seek the rebel leader King Caratacus.  
 Passing between fluttering ribbons and twinkling candle lamps, the parade entered the mysterious darkness of the ancient wood safe in the company of City Council stewards.  

Out on the hillside at the end of the woodland path, the sparkling lights of Sheffield and the Don Valley lit up the night with a warm glow. 

Turning up the south-west slope of Wincobank Hill the walkers made their way up towards a lone piper playing by a glowing brazier. 

Drawing breath, people turned to look back at the path they had climbed and gasped to see the millions of glittering lights stretching far into the distance. 

One child was overheard to exclaim: “Oh look – it’s the world!”

This view from the hill is seldom seen at night and the memory will stay with us all for years to come.

 Following the trail of candle lamps the procession moved up the hill to find archaeology students from the University of Sheffield working metal on an anvil beside the roaring flames of a reconstructed iron age forge.

The atmospheric Celtic melodies from Foxy Music instrumentalists drifted through the air and by the time the line of lantern bearers had crossed the hill fort, the children were buzzing with excitement.
 Four huge flags fluttered against the night sky. Beneath them, illuminated by torchlight and the glow of braziers, members of the 53 Theatre Group captivated the crowd with a re-enactment of the betrayal of King Caratacus by Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, who according to Tacitus, delivered him to the Romans in chains.   

But some say that Cartimandua deserves to be remembered as a wise and strategic leader, determined to protect her people from the Romans.
 The crowd were immediately involved in the dilemma faced by Cartimandua who had made a trade agreement with the invaders, securing peace. Caratacus was trying to raise a rebel army and so threatened the peace of the region. 

As Caratacus was led off in chains, the weary, happy, but hungry procession continued down the dark path between the oak trees and back to the warm and welcoming Upper Wincobank Chapel for hot chocolate and cake. 

Many thanks to Catherine Nuttgens and James Smith for helping to organise this amazing event which was funded by Communities First and Natural England

The event was supported by volunteers from by Friends of Wincobank Hill, Sheffield University Department of Archaeology, 53 Theatre Group, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Upper Wincobank Chapel and Wincobank Youth Group.  Thanks also to Foxy Music, Anna-Mercedes Wear and Helena Reynolds for their great contribution.