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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 15:55 UK
Blaise Castle Hill history on show in Henbury lecture
Blaise Castle
The area was originally an Iron Age fort but became a Roman military base

A local historian is highlighting the history of Blaise Castle Hill in Henbury in April.

Andrew Chugg will hold the talk on behalf of Henbury Conservation Society at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 27 April 2010.

It will take place at Henbury Village Hall, near the local church and entry is free.

Blaise Castle Hill in the Blaise Estate is in fact "the original Henbury" and the name actually means lofty fortress in Anglo-Saxon.

It was originally an Iron Age hill fort but was adapted into a military base by the Romans in the 4th Century as part of the defences of the Severn Estuary against raids by Irish pirates.

The Roman base incorporated a temple, which became a chapel dedicated to St Werburgha around AD700 - its dedication was changed to St Blaise around 1400.

It was abandoned after the dissolution of the monasteries and its ruins were excavated to provide building stone for a small Summer House tower in 1707.

The famous Blaise Castle folly was constructed on the hill by Thomas Farr from 1766 to 1768.

Many other features, including three caves, were added by Humphry Repton and John Nash around 1800.

Blaise Castle was immortalised in Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey where it is described as "the finest place in England".

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