Council "ruins" Iron Age fort by installing staircase

Residents outraged by "eyesore" steps on Castle Hill at Thetford


Castle Hill new steps

Council chiefs have been accused of turning an archaeologically important Iron Age hill fort into an "eyesore" by putting fibre-glass steps on it.

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The 80-feet-high Castle Hill at Thetford, Norfolk, is believed to be one of the tallest and steepest Iron Age fort sites in the UK. But now the ancient site features a newly-constructed £65,000 steel staircase to its mount.

Thetford Council says it was installed to prevent erosion to the landmark caused by visitors climbing to its peak.

Castle Hill stairs

Matthew Spencer, a retail worker who lives in the area, told the Daily Telegraph: "It couldn't be worse to be honest. It's an eyesore. I think steps could be a good idea for access but how they've done it is terrible.

"The material looks horrible. They should have used something more natural. I think they've ruined how it looks. It's ugly and overly modern - just not a good look."

Another local branded the installation "archaeological sacrilege".

Thetford mound, a medieval motte and bailey castle, Thetford, Norfolk, England

Meanwhile, a poll of 726 people by the Eastern Daily Press found that 68 per cent of residents thought the new steps were ugly and just 14 per cent believed they were a good idea.

A petition has been set up to force Thetford Town Council to change the stairs which have "destroyed the look and feel of this ancient monument".

A spokesman for Thetford Town Council told the newspaper: "The poll from the newspaper was a positive move to gain resident opinions.

"The council would encourage people to contact them directly with their comments and suggestions.

Britain's 10 best landmarks (according to TripAdvisor)

Britain's 10 best landmarks (according to TripAdvisor)