SOUTH Somerset District Council's countryside team has been awarded grant support for its ‘Uncovering Ham Hill’s past for its future’ project.

The council's countryside team has been given £74,200 from the Wolfson Foundation to help bring ife Ham Hill’s rich tapestry of heritage stories to life.

Ham Hill is steeped in history. 

From its Jurassic geological formation, the construction of the Iron Age hillfort by the Drurotriges Tribe to later Roman Occupation, Ham Hill has been occupied by humans since the Stone Age, giving it a hidden history that is ready to be unlocked.

People have shaped the natural outcrop of hamstone for many thousands of years, initially making defensive use of the raised hilltop.

The £74,200 grant from the Wolfson Foundation will be used to bring a permanent exhibition to the new visitor centre (due to open in autumn 2024) around those key themes, with the aim of engaging and exciting visitors to Ham Hill as a focus for human settlement and activity over thousands of years.

Screens will display live wildlife footage from the country park, and there will be themed walking trails which will enable visitors to explore the heritage of Ham Hill whilst discovering archaeological features across the park.

Portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, councillor Mike Best, said: “It is really exciting that with the help of the Wolfson Foundation our visitors will be able to discover the stories of Ham Hill.

"Ham Hill’s history is long and fascinating, and we are looking forward to sharing some grizzly tales of tribes and armies, and also engaging with our local communities on more recent history to capture stories from families who recall tales from grandparents who worked in quarries on the hill.”

Councillor Sarah Dyke, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “The unique geology and archaeology at Ham Hill has created a wonderful diversity of habitats that include a number of protected species.

“Our objective is to ensure all our visitors can access, enjoy and appreciate these spaces and we can now achieve that through the delivery of new interpretation.

“We also hope that the site will support the roll out of the new Natural History GCSE from 2025, and that our local secondary schools will be able to train and educate pupils first hand in nature conservation.”

Katy Menday, leisure and recreation manager at South Somerset District Council, said: “The surveys that we undertook as we developed the Ham Hill project showed that 32 per cent of visitors are not aware of Ham Hill’s importance as one of the largest Iron Age hill forts in Europe.

“The challenge now is to help all visitors, in some way, engage, enjoy and appreciate the special nature of the site. We hope that everyone who visits will enjoy the experience, with a touch of added intrigue as they walk the Iron Age ramparts or meander through a Roman villa site.”

To keep up to date with the progress of ‘Uncovering Ham Hill’s past for its future’ project, visit