Press Release/30 Jan 2014 – Sunrise vigil at hillfort

Oswestry residents are invited to retrace the steps of their ancestors in a walk around Old Oswestry hillfort this Sunday (Feb 2) to mark the Celtic celebration of Imbolc.

The early morning procession is being organised by HOOOH, Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort, a group campaigning against proposals for housing development close to the 3,000 year old Iron Age hillfort.

Imbolc, also known as Candlemas or Brigid’s Day, followed the winter solstice, signalling the first signs of Spring and the return of light to the world.

From the top of Old Oswestry at around this time of year, the sun can be seen rising over The Wrekin, another important Shropshire hillfort. This alignment of the sun between the two earthworks would have been significant to their tribal inhabitants, as was the intervisibility between the hillforts across the uninterrupted Shropshire Plain.

The event is free of charge. Participants should meet at Old Oswestry’s western entrance at 7.30 am in order to catch views of dawn breaking at about 7.55am.

HOOOH campaigner and organiser, Maggie Rowlands, said: “In keeping with ancient tradition, we will walk clockwise around the hillfort. People can bring snowdrops in pots, lanterns and drums just as our ancestors would have done to welcome in the beginning of spring.”

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