Iron Age defended settlement called Soudley camp, 430m north-east of Soudley Bridge.
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.
Despite visitor pressure, bracken growth and erosion the Iron Age defended settlement 430m north east of Soudley Bridge survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 9 July 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.
The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on a steeply sloping spur forming the valley side of a meander in the Soudley Brook and also overlooking the valley of one of its major tributaries at the point of confluence. The settlement survives as a roughly triangular enclosure defined on the western side by a single rampart bank measuring up to 2m high with a 9.1m wide and 1m deep outer ditch. The north east and south eastern sides are formed by the steep natural scarp slopes. There is a single central entrance in the rampart. In total the settlement covers approximately 0.36ha.