Part of a slight univallate hillfort with outworks 1025m south west of Odstock Manor.
Reasons for Designation
Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. 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 to 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 counter scarp 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 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 and spread from Devon to eastern England and the Welsh Marches. Wessex represents one of several areas noted for a relative density of these sites, and within Cranborne Chase they form one of a range of different classes within the notable concentration of hillforts identified. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite the affects of cultivation to the north the remaining sections of the part of a slight univallate hillfort with outworks 1025m south west of Odstock Manor survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development, maintenance, territorial and strategic significance, longevity 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.
This monument includes part of a slight univallate hillfort with outworks situated across a wide ridge overlooking two dry valleys and the more distant valley of the River Ebble. The partial hillfort survives as the southern rampart and outer ditch of the hillfort together with a section of parallel earthworks to the east identified as outworks which all survive as a series of banks and ditches in woodland. The main rampart bank is up to 7m wide and 1.2m high with a 5m wide and 0.9m deep ditch. To the east beyond a berm two further parallel banks and ditches of up to 4m wide define the outworks. The northern earthworks of the hillfort had been removed by cultivation before 1894.