SKELETONS of two human bodies dating back to the Iron Age have been discovered on a nature reserve near Bourton-on-the-Water.

Greystones Farm is home to Salmonsbury Camp, an ancient monument and the only lowland example of a large multivallate hillfort in England – a hillfort or enclosure with more than one rampart or defensive circuit.

The discovery at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust site was part of work by Cotswold Archaeology.

Archaeologists excavated an area of the farmyard in preparation for a new building but came across a surprising discovery, stopping building work.

These archaeological works are the first major excavations at the Salmonsbury Camp since the 1930s.

A possible roundhouse was revealed through the excavation as well as a series of large pits that would have been used to store grain.

Crouched human remains had been placed in two of the pits which was a tradition in the Iron Age.

The pottery recovered during the excavation suggests that the findings are dated to the middle Iron Age, 100 years before the construction of the hill fort.

“It has been fascinating to see what were slightly dark areas of ground be excavated to reveal pot and human remains that probably last saw the light of day 2,500 years ago,” said reserves manager Tom Beasley-Suffolk.

The finds will be cleaned up and analysed by Cotswold Archaeology, so more can be learnt about life in the Iron Age ancestors in the area.

Members of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust have said there could be plans in the future to build one of the roundhouses.

The reserve is Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s only working farm in the area and is managed for both wildlife and its historical importance.