Beneath one of the feeder roads for the M6 lies the old ‘Pimple Hill’; the misshapen mound to a motte and bailey hill-fort. The fort was here to guard an important crossing of the Tame and would have been topped with a wooden castle and surrounded in a palisade wall.
Like much of the River Tame’s history, the motte was incorporated into the plans of the M6, and although not removed, turned into an embankment and left to be forgotten apart from to those who know where to look for it.
Excavations revealed the remains of some of the wooden fort, as well as 12th century buildings and a 16th century house, though the mound is probably older, and there are traces of Roman history in the area.
Before the ‘pimple’ was concealed, just as the M6 was being built, David Warrington climbed the mound: “The view from [the top] took in an elevated stretch of the new M6, a meandering River Tame, and beyond that the tower blocks of the housing estate, together with the low mass of a giant factory producing car bodyshells.” Phyllis Nicklin also climbed to the top of the mound in 1968 and took a number of images up and down the Tame Valley, as well as out towards Dunlop (see images below).