Hailes Wood camp, Hailes
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004843
Date first listed: 20-Feb-1948
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Tewkesbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 05627 30139
Iron Age defended settlement re-used as a ringwork 525m east of Hailes Abbey Cottages.
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.
Ringworks are medieval fortifications built and occupied from the late Anglo-Saxon period to the later 12th century. They comprised a small defended area containing buildings which was surrounded or partly surrounded by a substantial ditch and a bank surmounted by a timber palisade or, rarely, a stone wall. Occasionally a more lightly defended embanked enclosure, the bailey, adjoined the ringwork. Ringworks acted as strongholds for military operations and in some cases as defended aristocratic or manorial settlements. They are rare nationally with only 200 recorded examples and less than 60 with baileys. As such, and as one of a limited number and very restricted range of Anglo-Saxon and Norman fortifications, ringworks are of particular significance to our understanding of the period.
The Iron Age defended settlement re-used as a ringwork 525m east of Hailes Abbey Cottages survives comparatively well despite extensive tree growth and the monument will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, development, longevity, territorial and political significance, strategic importance, probable adaptive re-use, domestic arrangements through time and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 9 July 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 includes an Iron Age defended settlement re-used as a ringwork in the medieval period and situated on the steep west facing slopes of the Cotswold escarpment overlooking several tributaries to the River Isbourne. The settlement survives as a roughly D-shaped enclosure surrounded by a bank measuring up to 2.3m high with a ditch of up to 1.5m deep and in places an outer counterscarp bank. Within the interior are a series of further banks and ditches. The enclosure is thought to have been an Iron Age defended settlement which since it is occupying a fine defensive position was re-used as a ringwork to form part of Hailes Castle between 1138 and 1150 although the exact location of this castle is not clear and this is largely based on documentary descriptive evidence. The site is known as Hailes Wood Camp.
Further archaeological features which survive in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: GC 121
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 328161 and 328152
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