Archive of Transactions

St John’s Camp, alias Fern Hill: a forgotten West Middlesex earthwork

Jonathan Cotton

An aerial photograph taken in the summer of 1949 shows a small circular cropmark enclosure situated close to Hatton Cross, Heathrow. Documentary evidence suggests that the enclosure, which lay only 1,100m SE of the beter known ‘Caesar’s Camp’, was once known as St John’s Camp and later, Fern Hill. Although undated, it appears to have survived as a recognisable earthwork until the close of the 18th century; its site now lies partly beneath an aircraft hangar erected in the early 1950s. The study demonstrates that, despite the lack of recent, systematic, archaeologically- orientated aerial survey in historic west Middlesex, examination of maps, surveys and other documentary sources can provide valuable information as to the early settlement of the area.

[Transactions 41 (1990), pp 1 – 8; abstract as published]

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