Large multivallate hillfort 230m south of Cross Hands Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002486

Date first listed: 05-Jan-1927

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Ordnance survey map of Large multivallate hillfort 230m south of Cross Hands Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1002486 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 18:54:50.


Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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

District: South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Little Sodbury

District: South Gloucestershire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sodbury

National Grid Reference: ST 76097 82580


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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, fence lines, 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. They are rare and important for understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period. The large multivallate hillfort 230m south of Cross Hands Farm survives well and is often described as one of the best examples in the Cotswolds. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial, strategic, social and economic significance, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, trade, abandonment and overall landscape context.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort, situated on the summit of a small ridge on a plateau forming part of the Cotswold Escarpment, overlooking the wide valley of the River Frome. The hillfort survives as a roughly rectangular enclosed area, defined by a widely-spaced double rampart and ditch on all except the western side, where there is a single rampart and berm above the escarpment, and to the east where there is an additional outer counterscarp bank. In total the hillfort covers approximately 9.48ha, and the interior measures up to 277m long by 190m wide. The inner rampart, present on all sides, survives differentially, but measures up to 10m wide and 2.1m high. It is surrounded by a ditch of up to 9m wide and 2.1m deep (except to the west) with a further berm of up to 6m wide. The outer rampart is present to the north, east and south, again surviving differentially, and measures up to 17m wide and 3m high with a 3.6m wide berm and an outer ditch of up to 13m wide and 3m deep. The interior is crossed by a slight bank and ditch which is the parish boundary bank. The hillfort was once thought to have been a Roman camp which could have held up to five cohorts of soldiers and their horse soldiers. It is now widely accepted as an Iron Age hillfort. The causewayed entrance is on the east side. It is known locally as 'Sodbury Camp'.

The walls (listed Grade II) within the northern part of the monument are not included within the scheduling, but the ground below is included.

Sources: PastScape 205141 South Gloucestershire HER 2103


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

Legacy System number: SG 70

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

End of official listing