[If the text below uses any of the terms ‘hill-letter’, ‘river-letter’, ‘old-style name’, ‘transitional name’ and ‘inversion-type name’ a reader who is not familiar with those terms may wish to refer briefly to ‘The Celtic names of hillforts’, where an explanation of those terms is given].


The Celtic names of hillforts


Chase Wood Camp


Location:  south of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

OS map reference: SO 602 224

Celtic name:  probably Ariconio or Dariconio

Source:  Antonine Itinerary – Ariconio (Iter XIII)



This hillfort stands at the top of a steep-sided hill.

The ric part of the name is an inversion-type topographical element meaning ‘hill steep’. Since the hillfort is actually at the top of the hill the Celtic name may have been Dariconio, where daric is an inversion-type element meaning ‘summit of hill steep’. There are other Romano-British names which appear to have dropped or lost the initial consonant of the Celtic name, e.g. Arduaravenatone, Itucodon, Armis, Onno.

The name of the hillfort was simply transferred by the Romans to the new town which they built just east of Weston-under-Penyard. It will be this new town which is referred to in the Antonine Itinerary.