A LONG-STANDING mystery surrounding one of Britain’s most important hillforts is set to be unravelled.

Archaeologist Dr Rachel Pope will shed light on the function of the pits at the Old Oswestry Hillfort’s western entrance at a seminar on Sunday (September 16).

Based on new understanding from hillfort studies elsewhere in England, Dr Pope will reveal all during a site talk discussing the design of the monument’s two entrances.

Running 11am to 3pm, the Oswestry Heritage Open Days seminar includes two further presentations at the nearby Gatacre Pavilion with views of the hillfort across Gatacre playing fields.

Also speaking will be archaeologist and rock art expert, Dr George Nash, who will discuss how modern technology is enabling new interpretations of the role of Iron Age hillforts.

Illustrator and archaeologist, John Swogger, will highlight the use of comics to encourage public heritage engagement with reference to projects related to hillforts and monuments of the Welsh Marches.

Working with Qube, John has produced a town trail of historic Oswestry for Heritage Open Days, based on his popular Oswestry Heritage Comics series.

The seminar has been organised by the Oswestry Heritage Gateway, which works to conserve and promote Old Oswestry as the hub of the the town's heritage-rich northern gateway.

Admission is free, but places are limited so booking is essential. For more details and reservations, search for "Views of Old Oswestry" at www.eventbrite.co.uk.

Hundreds of volunteers is giving people access to more than 200 activities, events and exhibition sessions, as well as historic buildings normally closed to the public, enabling them to explore the area's past.

Launched last Thursday, the 11-day festival continues through to Sunday, September 16 with plenty still left for all ages to enjoy, ranging from talks, films and exhibitions to poetry writing, canal trips, monorail rides, crafts, clog dancing and re-enactments.

The role of women in history is a particular theme this year, with exhibitions and talks on the suffragettes, home-front heroines and influential women through the ages from Oswestry and Llangollen.

More details can be found at: http://oswestrytownmuseum.co.uk/