Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002023
Date first listed: 22-Dec-1935
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 07:17:32.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: Greater London Authority
District: Bromley (London Borough)
National Grid Reference: TQ 42252 63855
A large multivallate hillfort known as Caesar’s Camp, 522m south-east of Forest Lodge.
Reasons for Designation
Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between 5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection of the power struggle between competing elites. Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts, oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered, for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fencelines, hearths and ovens. Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture occurred on many sites. Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere. In view of the rarity of large multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of national importance.
Despite having been part-levelled by landscaping in the past, the large multivallate hillfort known as Caesar’s Camp survives well. The site retains potential for further archaeological investigation. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the use and occupation of the hillfort, as well as the landscape in which it was constructed.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 March 2015. This 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.
The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort, traditionally known as Caesar’s Camp, surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated near the summit of a hill in Holwood Park, east of Keston Common and covers an area of about 43 acres.
The ramparts and ditches survive to the north and west but have been largely levelled by 18th and 19th century landscaping associated with Holwood House located to the south of the hillfort. The earthworks on the west side include two banks and ditches, in total about 40m wide, with in places a further counterscarp bank. The ramparts or banks are about 3m above the original ground surface. The ditches are about 9m wide and 4.5m deep. There are two entrances, the principal of which is on the north-west side, adjacent to Keston Common. Here an inturn in the rampart is exaggerated by the siting of the entrance in a small natural valley which runs into the interior of the fort. To the south and east, the banks and ditch still survive as slight earthworks. On the south-east side the ground falls away steeply and this natural escarpment enhances the defences of the fort.
Caesar’s Camp, also known as Holwood Camp, was documented by Thomas Milne in the late 18th century. In 1956-7 partial excavation of the interior provided evidence for three stages of construction of the ramparts. Mesolithic flints and Iron Age pottery were recovered and evidence indicated that the hillfort was built in about 200 BC.
Between 1996 and 1999, archaeological assessment and evaluation south of the hillfort, and thought not at present included in the constraint area, recorded part of a substantial ditched enclosure. The ditch was 5m wide and 3m deep, and included a fill of Late Iron Age pottery. In 1997, topographic survey by the RCHME (Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England) recorded low earthworks on the south and east side of the hillfort. The survey also identified a small settlement of possible medieval date.
A linear earthwork on Keston Common to the west, comprising a single bank and ditch, is possibly associated with the hillfort but is included in a separate scheduling.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: LO 101
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
NMR TQ46SW5, TQ46SW50, TQ46SW20. PastScape 407826, 1216925, 407871.
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing