A DIG to reveal and explore an Iron Age hillfort beneath the surface of Eddisbury Hill is in its final week.

The true extent of the fort in Delamere has been unveiled after weeks of work by a team of archaelogists and volunteers.

They were set to dig at the site for four weeks but extended their work for another three weeks so that they could uncover more of the fort’s entrance beneath a potato field.

Dan Garner, project officer at the dig, said: “There’s only one other hillfort with a fairly grand entrance in our group, at Bickerton Hill, but it’s not as sophisticated as this one.

“I would say that this hillfort is as sophisticated as it gets in the Iron Age.”

The entrance to the Eddisbury Hill hillfort has seven sets of post holes, each as big as a tree trunk, and guard rooms.

Parts of its original walls can still be seen.

Dan said: “These may be the oldest bits of standing walls in Cheshire.”

The dig is part of a Habitats and Hillforts project to conserve and enhance the string of six Iron Age hillforts along the sandstone ridge.

After the work at Eddisbury Hill is complete, there are another three forts for the team to explore.

They are also looking into how the hillforts may have related to each other and are planning a project called ‘Hillfort Glow’ in December to find out how well forts in North Wales and Cheshire can see each other.

“Hillfort intervisibility (a term to describe how far and what can be seen from the hillfort) is quite a hot topic at the moment,” Dan said.

“We have computer software that shows where you can and can’t see from each hillfort and a lot of our chain has good intervisibility with hillforts in North Wales. We don’t really know where tribal boundaries are and intervisibility may define tribal areas.

“The fact that those in Cheshire can see those in North Wales might suggest a tribal identity – there’s far less intervisibility between Cheshire and Shropshire so maybe the people in Shropshire were from a different tribe.”

After the team has finished work at Eddisbury Hill the trenches will be filled in again, which is the best way to preserve the archaeology.

Interpretation boards will be put up to give visitors information about the finds with a photograph of the excavation work and an image of what the hillfort may have looked like.

The team’s last day on site is Friday.

For more information visit habitatsandhillforts.co.uk.