Slight univallate hillfort 530m south west of Hill Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.
Despite tree growth and cultivation the slight univallate hillfort 530m south west of Hill Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, function, territorial significance, social organisation, agricultural practices, trade, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context, whilst the diversity of chance finds indicate a prolonged and varied occupational history.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the summit of a prominent and steeply sloping plateau overlooking the Coughton Marsh and the wide mature valley of the River Wye. The hillfort survives as a roughly rectangular enclosure of approximately 10.8ha defined by a rampart bank best preserved to the south which stands up to 1.6m high with an outer flat berm and traces of a partial outer counterscarp bank. There are three apparent in-turned entrances to the north, west and north east. Chance finds from the interior following cultivation have included: a Mesolithic microlith; Neolithic flint implements like scarpers, burins, blades and an arrowhead; coarse Iron Age pottery and a Romano British blue glass bead which all indicate a prolonged period of exploitation and occupation.