Slight univallate hillfort 120m north east of Upper Severalls.
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 both rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.
Despite some reduction in the height of the ramparts through past agricultural activity the slight univallate hillfort 120m north east of Upper Severalls survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social organisation, territorial and strategic significance, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 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.
The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the summit of a ridge which also forms the southern valley side of the River Coln. The hillfort survives as a roughly oval enclosure of approximately 4.4ha defined by a rampart bank which survives differentially throughout the circuit and as a partial buried outer ditch. The rampart bank was complete on aerial photographs of 1946 but now the earthworks are best preserved on the eastern side as a bank of up to 9m wide and 1.7m high, elsewhere the bank is less well pronounced, to the south and west it is a scarp of up to 0.3m high and to the north is defined by the steep natural scarp. The hillfort is also known by the alternative names of ‘Rawbarrow’ or ‘Ablington Camp’.