Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill, Burghclere, Hampshire

Its situation, prominent and severe, makes Beacon Hill one of the best known hill forts in England. The derivation of the name is obvious; the hill was once the site of the most famous beacon in Hampshire, though in fact the Beacon at Burghclere was called the Berkshire Beacon. The firing of beacons kept on prominent hill tops was for many years an integral part of the defence system of the country and the last chain of beacons were lit on 2 June 1977 to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. An historic event of a different era is recalled by a memorial stone situated in the Seven Barrows field to the south of Beacon Hill. The inscription on the stone recalls that it was here that Sir Geoffrey de Haviland (1882-1965), pioneer aviator, aeroplane designer, and founder of the aircraft company which bore his name, made his first successful flight on 10 September 1910. Beacon Hill is a landmark for miles around, and can be seen from all over Hampshire, even from Butser on a fine clear day. All around are other hill forts, and there are views of Bury Hill, Quarley, Danebury, and Old Winchester Hill.

Access, on foot, by a steep climb from the entrance off the western side of the main Winchester-Newbury road (A34). The nearest towns are Newbury and Whitchurch.

[Hampshire Attractions]