Small multivallate hillfort called Dudsbury.
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. 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 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. As a rare form of hillfort they are important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period.
Despite some erosion and past cultivation of the interior the small multivallate hillfort called Dudsbury survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 December 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 small multivallate hillfort situated on a small hill called Dudsbury Hill on the north bank of the River Stour. The hillfort survives as a roughly oval enclosed area defined by closely concentric double ramparts and a largely buried outer ditch to the west, north and east and by a single rampart above the precipitous valley side to the south, the whole covering an area of just over 6ha. The ramparts survive differentially and are best preserved to the south west and north east where the inner rampart is up to 3.5m high above its ditch and the outer rampart is up to 1.5m high. There are two original entrances to the south and west, the latter is slightly inturned. Limited partial excavations by Heywood Sumner in 1921 produced some Iron Age pottery.