Small multivallate hillfort 660m east of Whitfield Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 69006 91576

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, either simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of importance. The small multivallate hillfort 660m east of Whitfield Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial, economic and strategic significance, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, subsequent adaptive re-use and overall landscape context.


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort, situated on the summit of a prominent spur, overlooking the valley of a tributary to the Little Avon River and 'The Lake'. It lies within the Grade II* Registered Park (1357) of Tortworth Court. The hillfort survives as an irregularly-shaped enclosure defined by a steep natural scarp to the east; by two banks and ditches to the north; and by three banks and ditches to the south and west. In total it covers an area of approximately 5.5ha. The interior measures up to 225m long by 183m wide. The inner banks and ditches are the most pronounced, and they become steadily less visually impressive outwards with, for example, the height from the base of the ditch to the top of the associated rampart bank being up to 6m for the inner defences, 4.5m for the middle and 3m for the outer one. The hillfort has two simple causewayed entrances at either end of the southern side. On the south eastern side of the hillfort a tessellated pavement was discovered in 1768 (although it was misprinted on maps as 1868) together with further Roman finds of pottery over the years. The pavement reputedly measured 5.4m long by 4.5m wide although its exact location is unclear. It has been variously interpreted as a Romano-British villa or temple site and significant quantities of Roman pottery have been retrieved from the area over the years. The hillfort is known locally as 'Bloody Acre'.

Sources: PastScape 201653 and 201650 South Gloucestershire HER 1582, 1587 and 18579


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
SG 67
Legacy System:


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