Iron Age defended settlement known as Batsford Camp, 310m WNW of Blenheim Farm.
Reasons for Designation
During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period.
Despite the construction of a road and buildings the Iron Age defended settlement 310m WNW of Blenheim Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 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, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on relatively low lying, gently sloping land close to the sources of several tributaries to the River Evenlode. The settlement survives as a roughly rectangular enclosure which measures approximately 65m long by 60m wide internally and is defined by a rampart bank standing up to 7m wide and 1m high externally and an outer ditch of up to 5m wide and 0.3m deep. It has been bisected by a road and cut on the western side by a later building. Excavations have produced Iron Age finds and also Roman pottery which imply a prolonged period of occupation. The settlement is close to the Roman road known as the Fosse Way and the small Roman town (scheduled separately) at Dorn to the north.