Slight univallate hillfort 570m south east of Four Gates.
Reasons for Designation
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 - 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 counterscarp 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 only 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. Although on a national scale the number is low, in neighbouring Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite reduction in the heights of the ramparts through cultivation the slight univallate hillfort 570m south east of Four Gates 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 25 August 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.
This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the upper south east facing slopes of a prominent ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Kit. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure of approximately 2.5ha defined by a single rampart bank with buried outer ditch which survives differentially. The rampart is best preserved to the east where it has been incorporated into a field boundary whilst elsewhere it is preserved as a scarp of up to 0.5m high above the buried ditch. It is clearly identifiable as cropmarks on aerial photographs.