After the Iron Age
Evidence of Roman activity on the lower slopes of Worlebury has been
highlighted by housing development from the Victorian period to recent
times. A Roman burial with a first-century AD brooch overlay Iron Age
pit burials north of Grove Park. A coin of Vespasian (AD 67 - 79) was
found just west of the parish church and it is in this area, now
covered by Royal Crescent, South Terrace and Weston College, that
evidence of a settlement site has been found. Further along the hill
there was another settlement in the area now occupied by Roslyn
Avenue. The fields on the slopes of Worlebury Hill continued to be
farmed during this period.
A hoard of eleven Roman coins was dug up in 1833 on the south-west
side of Worlebury, and inside the hillfort the Revd. Warre found,
underneath the turf, over 200 coins of the late Roman Empire, Roman
pottery, glass beads and fragments of bronze ornaments. There were
also iron nails suggesting the existence of a building. Perhaps a
Romano-Celtic shrine once stood here; the finds being votive offerings
once made to a god(dess).
Of notable interest are the Monks Steps, consisting of nearly 200
undressed flat stones which climb the hill from above Kewstoke Church
to Milton. No one knows exactly why and for what purpose they were
built. In 1853 a small silver ring brooch, dating to the sixth century
AD, was found from above the top of the steps. On the western side,
towards the top of the steps, was a pit-chamber of regularly shaped
stonework, which was excavated by the Revd. W. Jackson in 1871 and
later destroyed during World War II. The finds included: Iron Age
pottery, an iron knife of Saxon or Medieval date, Medieval pottery, a
15th-century spur and a sword hilt dating from the time of the Civil
War. A local legend says that the chamber was a cell for a mythical
saint, St. Kew. Sometimes the stes are known as St. Kew's Steps.
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Text by Jane Allwood, HTMLised by Stephen Jenkins
Last modified: Tue Apr 16 18:25:01 BST 1996