Puttenham is a very special place for me with fond childhood memories of weekend visits to my father’s family home in the high street. It is a pretty village, linear with the church at the east end, lying at the foot of the south slope of the Hogs Back, now favoured by commuters enjoying the country life. Puttenham Common is just to the south side of the village on a greensand ridge with extensive views to the chalk ridge of the South Downs.
Hillbury Fort sits on the west end of the central ridge across the common abutting a steep natural escarpment created by the small river flowing north to south through a series of millponds below. It relates to three alignments; Crooksbury, Waverley and Deerleap. The alignment point on the Crooksbury line is near the foot of the pine-covered escarpment near the edge of the water in dense rhododendron scrub, making site inspection extremely difficult. The atmosphere of this spot prompts images of sacred groves and it would surely have been the source of water for the fort above. This point is 10 DM along the alignment, as is the fort itself (see plan).
The Waverley line appears to pass through two distinct gaps in the east and south ramparts. The 10 DM point on this line tucks neatly into the high point of the northeast corner of the fort. This area is rough ground covered in bracken and nothing out of the ordinary can be seen.