The CROOKSBURY LINE at around 232 degrees would seem to be aligned to the mid-winter sunset. At just over 7 Druid Miles (DM) the line passes through St Bartholomew’s Church at Wanborough. At just over 8 DM, and on the extremity of visibility, lies the site of the Hogs Back Barrow on a high ridge which appears to be the aiming point for the midwinter sunset. The line then passes close by Hillbury Hillfort, but it is the WAVERLEY LINE and the DEERLEAP LINE that pass through the fort itself, and then carries on to Culverswell Barrow. Although precisely on the line this barrow is slightly beyond the 12 DM point at the crest of the hill. Carrying on down the hill the alignment terminates between two very close tumuli known as Crooksbury Barrows. Nothing has so far been found beyond this
Scale plan of Hillbury Hillfort
Puttenham is a very special place to me with fond childhood memories of weekend visits to my father’s family home in The 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 north east corner of the fort. This area is rough ground covered in bracken and nothing out of the ordinary can be seen.