This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Bigberry camp

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Bigberry camp

List entry Number: 1005169

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Canterbury

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Harbledown and Rough Common

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Aug-1954

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: KE 51

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Iron Age large univallate hillfort called Bigbury Camp, 405m north-west of Merryweather.

Reasons for Designation

Large univallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, ranging in size between 1ha and 10ha, located on hilltops and surrounded by a single boundary comprising earthworks of massive proportions. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the fourth century BC and the first century AD, although evidence for earlier use is present at most sites. The size of the earthworks reflects the ability of certain social groups to mobilise the labour necessary for works on such a monumental scale, and their function may have had as much to do with display as defence. Large univallate hillforts are also seen as centres of redistribution, both for subsistence products and items produced by craftsmen. The ramparts are of massive proportions except in locations where steepness of slope precludes easy access. They can vary between 6m and 20m wide and may survive to a height of 6m. The ditches can measure between 6m and 13m wide and between 3m and 5m deep. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances which often take the form of long passages formed by inturned ramparts and originally closed by a gate located towards the inner end of the passageway. The entrance may be flanked by guardrooms and/or accompanied by outworks. 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. Large univallate hillforts are rare with between 50 and 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located within southern England where they occur on the chalklands of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. The western edge of the distribution is marked by scattered examples in north Somerset and east Devon, while further examples occur in central and western England and outliers further north. Within this distribution considerable regional variation is apparent, both in their size, rampart structure and the presence or absence of individual components. In view of the rarity of large univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the organisation and regional structure of Iron Age society, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite some development and disturbance in the past, the Iron Age large univallate hillfort called Bigbury Camp survives relatively well. It has been shown by partial excavation to contain significant archaeological remains relating to its construction, use and history.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 December 2014. 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 an Iron Age large univallate hillfort known as Bigbury Camp surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated at the eastern end of a ridge, north of the River Great Stour at Hambledown.

The hillfort was originally a univallate hillfort but a northern annexe was later added with bivallate defences. The southern part of the hillfort has been partially destroyed by gravel digging but where earthworks survive they are denoted by a single bank and ditch. The northern annexe of the hillfort was added at a later date and is defended by a double bank and ditch. The earthworks follow an irregular curvilinear plan. It has been suggested that the annexe may have been used as a cattle compound although this is uncertain. There is an entrance in the eastern side of the hillfort.

The hillfort was partially excavated in 1933-4, 1962-3 and 1978-80. These excavations uncovered structural remains of a hut circle and evidence for the defences on the eastern side of the hillfort. North of the eastern entrance two large postholes were revealed, which may be the remains of a palisade. The finds included Iron Age pottery sherds, metalwork, a slingbolt of burnt clay and a slave gang chain approximately 5.4m long.

Selected Sources

Other
Kent HER TR 15 NW 33. NMR TR 15 NW 33. PastScape 464710

National Grid Reference: TR 11689 57410, TR 11689 57654, TR 11864 57592, TR 11959 57665

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1005169 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 25-Apr-2018 at 01:32:08.

End of official listing