Large multivallate hillfort on Uley Bury 325m south east of Springfield Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between 5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection of the power struggle between competing elites. Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts, oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered, for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fence lines, hearths and ovens. Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture occurred on many sites.
Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere. They are rare and important for understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period.
Despite some quarrying and cultivation the large multivallate hillfort on Uley Bury, 325m south east of Springfield Farm, survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its multi-phase use, territorial and strategic significance, social organisation, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, trade, longevity, construction and overall landscape context it is also one of the largest in the Cotswold region.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 8 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 a large multivallate hillfort situated on and occupying the entire summit of a distinctive and steeply sloping Cotswold plateau which forms the watershed between the valleys of the River Ewelme and one of its major tributaries. The hillfort survives as a roughly rectangular enclosure covering approximately 23ha which is defined by double terraces and augmented steep scarp slopes with slight banks above and which has a main entrance to the north and smaller ones to the east and south. In 1976 excavation works prior to the laying of pipelines produced a crouched burial, indicated one of the entrances was turf and timber lined with a metalled road and produced Iron Age pottery, shale armlets, a glass bead, a bronze ring headed pin and two Iron Age currency bars. Further evidence in the form of well over 2000 flint artefacts indicates the presence of a pre Iron Age settlement on the summit, probably of Neolithic origin.