The Castle hillfort
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004545
Date first listed: 25-May-1960
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Dorset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: ST 59426 00103
Slight univallate hillfort called ‘The Castle’ and a bowl barrow 370m north-west of Manor Farm.
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 neighbouring Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. They are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. The bowl barrow and slight univallate hillfort called ‘The Castle’ 370m north west of Manor Farm survive comparatively well and will include archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, longevity, territorial and strategic significance of both features, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, funerary and ritual practices, the interrelationship between the two features and their overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 January 2016. 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.
This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort and a bowl barrow situated on the summit of the prominent Castle Hill overlooking the valley of the River Frome. The hillfort survives as a roughly oval enclosure with an internal area of approximately 1.7ha defined by a 7m wide and up to 3.5m high scarp with no visible ditch and two causewayed entrances to the north west and north east. The interior is relatively level. Within the interior is a bowl barrow which survives as a flat topped circular mound of up to 18m in diameter and 1.6m high surrounded by a buried quarry ditch from which the construction material was derived. There is a slight cut on the southern side.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DO 439
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-195860 and 195865
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing