The plight of heritage threatened by misplaced development has provided inspiration for a Shropshire artist in the run up to the ‘Hillfort Hug’ at Old Oswestry this weekend (Feb 14).
Noted archaeological illustrator and cartoonist, John Swogger, based near Oswestry, has created a stunning poster capturing the community’s protective instincts for local heritage. It depicts a congregation of people standing on the famous western entrance of the 3,000 year old Iron Age in a joyful hug of protection. Thousands of people have voiced their objections to housing plans that would damage the surrounding ancient landscape and views, with a decision expected soon from a planning Inspector.
John, who is also a qualified archaeologist, was moved to create his hillfort artwork for campaign group, HOOOH (Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort), to help raise awareness of the housing threat.
Appropriately, the hillfort hug takes place at Old Oswestry on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) at 1pm.
It coincides with a national call to show heritage some love being driven by social media. Heritage supporters across the country are being urged to tweet selfies with their favourite piece of history to #hugyourheritage.
Organised in association with the CBA (Council for British Archaeology/Archaeology for All), this mass online hug of the nation’s heritage is set to peak on Saturday via the crowd-speaking platform Thunderclap.
Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, said: “Oswestry hillfort is of national archaeological importance and much loved by its local community. Any development which impacts on the setting of the monument would be totally inappropriate and goes against national planning policy. The Council for British Archaeology fully supports the strong local campaign and calls on the County Council to seek alternative sites for their housing proposals.”
Hillfort Hug poster by archaeological illustrator, John Swogger.
- Launch details for the national campaign – at hugyourheritage.tumblr.com – reveal: ‘History and heritage are important. Support Old Oswestry Hillfort and hug your heritage on Valentine’s Day! We are urging as many people as possible to take part in person or online and demonstrate their support for an iconic and nationally important hillfort.’
- Old Oswestry hillfort is located just outside Oswestry in North Shropshire close to the Wales/England border. It is designated a Scheduled Monument by English Heritage who describe it as ‘an immensely significant site of undoubted national importance.’https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/22001-hug-your-heritage #HugYourHeritage
@OldOswestryFort https://www.facebook.com/OldOswestryHillfort http://oldoswestryhillfort.co.uk/