The buried remains of a C1 to C4 AD Romano-British settlement. The site is not visible at ground level but survives as buried features. The settlement overlooks the Cotswold Hills.
Reasons for Designation
The Romano-British site known as Hailey Wood Camp is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: the form of the site is unusual nationally
* Survival: although reduced by cultivation, it survives reasonably well as a series of buried features and archaeological deposits
* Potential: the site retains great potential for improving our understanding of this enigmatic site's construction and use and of Roman settlement more generally
* Regional character: Hailey Wood Camp lies within an area, broadly corresponding to modern Gloucestershire, rich in Roman occupation, with a distinctive and rich character
The earliest known record of Romano-British remains being discovered in the area of Hailey Wood was when the Sapperton Railway Tunnel was excavated in 1844. Contemporary accounts claim that a Roman villa was removed to make way for the tunnel construction; the site at Hailey Wood may have been ancillary to this villa. The site has been variously known as Hayley Wood Camp, Hayley Wood settlement and Tunnel Mouth Camp, due to its proximity to the Sapperton Tunnel portal
The precise interpretation of the site has remained elusive, and it has been variously described as a settlement, villa, camp or temple site. In form, the site has similarities with known temple sites such as those at Gosbecks, Essex or Hayling Island, Hampshire, which also take the form of a roughly square enclosure with a central building. Finds recorded from the site are, however, largely domestic in character.
Early accounts record evidence of other structures in the vicinity although all the earthworks, including the settlement, were under plough when the site was surveyed in 1976/7 and the banks were reduced to low stony rises. By the 1980s, the archaeological remains were no longer visible at ground level although a resistivity survey and fieldwalking in 1997 confirmed that the complex survives as buried features. Pottery fragments discovered at the site indicate that the site was occupied from the first to the fourth century AD.
This small Romano-British complex at Hailey Wood is located on a low hill in an isolated setting, approximately three miles to the south-east of the important Roman town of Corinium (Cirencester). It survives largely as buried features, visible on aerial photographs.
The complex includes the buried remains of a roughly square enclosure, defined by a double ditch. Early records suggest that these were formerly accompanied by a series of three banks, however these are no longer visible at ground level. The enclosure measures approximately 84m square with an entrance on the south-east side. Within the enclosure a concentration of stone and building material is believed to mark the position of a building. Areas of other archaeological features around the main double ditched enclosure have been recorded, including a rectangular building to the south east and a group of features to the north including an ‘interrupted ditch’, and various other rectilinear features that may be parts of other enclosures.
Fieldwalking on the site has recovered large quantities of domestic pottery including fragments of samian ware; grey and black burnished wares; and amphorae. Building material including stone, brick, box flue tile and floor and roof tile has also been recovered. It is reported that a group of five lead curse tablets was recovered from the site in the 1990s although it has not been possible to confirm this.