Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005702
Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Berwick St. John
National Grid Reference: ST 95220 21713
Slight univallate hillfort called Winkelbury.
Reasons for Designation
Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth to fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counter scarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways, while more elaborate features, like overlapping ramparts and outworks, are limited to a few examples. 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. Slight univallate hillforts are rare, with around 150 examples recorded nationally and spread from Devon to eastern England and the Welsh Marches. Wessex represents one of several areas noted for a relative density of these sites, and within Cranborne Chase they form one of a range of different classes within the notable concentration of hillforts identified. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. The slight univallate hillfort called Winkelbury survives well and will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, function, territorial, social, economic and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, agricultural practices, trade and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 June 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the summit of an extremely prominent and steeply sloping spur called Winkelbury Hill. The hillfort survives as a roughly oval enclosure which measures up to 382m long by 160m wide internally, covers approximately 7.5ha and is defined by a single rampart bank standing up to a maximum 2.5m high and an outer ditch of up to 4m wide and 2m deep. The style of construction is unusual since it appears to have been built as a series of individual lengths of rampart and ditch which to the south overlap to form an entrance. Within the interior a later single curving rampart and ditch was apparently added to enclose a smaller more compact oval area of approximately 3ha. The interior also contains a large number of hollows of varying shape and size and these represent both buildings and various forms of storage or refuse pits. The hillfort was partially excavated by Pitt-Rivers in 1881-2 and sections across the rampart, a central hollow way and six pits and a hut circle were examined. The pits were found to contain Iron Age ‘refuse’, the hut circle had been constructed in timber with wattle and daub walls and the excavations produced large quantities of earlier prehistoric flint flakes and implements as well as Romano-British artefacts and pottery which indicated a prolonged occupation. The manner in which the ‘defences’ were constructed has led to the conclusion that this hillfort was not built for entirely military purposes and may reflect different social, territorial and economic factors surrounding the site through time. It is mentioned in early post-conquest charters as ‘Winterburh’ meaning winter camp.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WI 13
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Wiltshire HER ST92SE201
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