Large multivallate hillfort, 675m NNE of Credenhill Court.
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 visitor erosion, tree growth and partial excavation, the large multivallate hillfort 675m NNE of Credenhill Court survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, territorial and strategic significance, social organisation, functions, trade, agricultural and industrial practices, economic relevance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. 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.
This monument includes a large multivallate hillfort situated on the summit of a prominent and steeply sloping hill overlooking the wide mature valley of the River Wye. The hillfort survives as a roughly oval enclosure of up to 26ha, the shape of which is determined by the natural hilltop. The defences are defined by double concentric rampart banks with a medial ditch and interior quarry ditches from which the rampart material was derived. The inner bank stands up to 9m high, the outer bank up to 4m high and the medial ditch is partly backfilled and buried. There are two inturned entrances one to the east and one to the south east with external hollow ways leading to them. The interior and south western corner have been subjected to some quarrying, but contain earthworks of trackways, boundaries, enclosures, house platforms and a possible postern gate.
Partial excavations were carried out in 1963 and revealed storage pits, the remains of timber granaries and Romano-British pottery which indicated an occupation of from around 390 BC up to AD 75.