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Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by The Chilterns Conservation Board to supply reconstruction painting of six Iron Age hillforts. Our Studio was part of a team of artists engaged to visualise and bring the past to life, by reconstructing one of the largest collections of hillforts in the UK. 

This was part of an exciting four year project which was part-funded and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The broader project was designed to “inspire and engage local communities to discover and appreciate the Chilterns' Iron Age hillforts and their prehistoric chalk landscapes”. Opportunities were provided by the Chilterns Conservation Board for public involvement through remote sensing and survey, practical excavation, and research. They also ran a programme of events and created a set of educational activities.

These beautiful series of fourteen reconstructions were created to be used on websites, leaflets and on display panels. The six supplied by Wessex Archaeology were all painted digitally by our highly experienced reconstruction artist, and are based on survey data and research to ensure they accurately represent what is known about each site. 

The Beacons of the Past The Beacons of the Past

Many of the hillforts are poorly preserved, but the project aims to use data from a LiDAR survey covering 1400 km2, as a base to build the reconstruction on. Using careful research and comparative information, it is hoped the resulting reconstructions will depict the sites as accurately as possible, showing how they looked in the Chilterns landscape back in the Iron Age.

The work will be undertaken this summer/autumn and aims to provide a set of engaging images to be used in a variety of community materials and on information panels, as well as to be distributed via the project website https://www.chilternsaonb.org/projects/beacons-of-the-past.html

By Karen Nichols, Studio Manager

Reconstruction of Cadbury Camp, copyright Jennie Anderson
The Beacons of the Past Waulud's Bank - Beacons of the Past
Wilbury Hill Camp - Beacons of the past
Beacons of the Past logo