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.

Small Down Knoll 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: Small Down Knoll camp

List entry Number: 1006175

Location

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

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Evercreech

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Feb-1953

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: SO 257

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

Small multivallate hillfort and round barrow cemetery 300m north of Small Down Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, either simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. Small multivallate hillforts are rare and important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. Despite partial early excavations and the reduction in the heights of the earthworks through cultivation and quarrying, the small multivallate hillfort and round barrow cemetery 300m north of Small Down Farm survive comparatively well and will provide further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation, strategic significance, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, funerary and ritual practices, relative chronologies and relationships and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 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 small multivallate hillfort and round barrow cemetery situated on the summit of the prominent hill known as Small Down Knoll. The hillfort defences surround the summit of the hill and enclose an area of approximately 4.3ha within which the round barrow cemetery is located. The hillfort survives as a double rampart and partially buried ditch on all except the eastern side where there is a further counterscarp bank of up to 1m high. The ramparts survive differentially from simple scarps above largely buried ditches to near vertical profiles with flat topped banks. There are two original causewayed entrances to the east and south east. It is known locally as Small Down Knoll Camp. Partial excavations were carried out by Gray in 1904 which recovered a flint knife and scraper, fragment of human jawbone and Iron Age pottery. Within the interior of the hillfort is a round barrow cemetery containing at least 14 barrows which survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches from which the construction material was derived. The mounds vary in size from 6m up to 13m in diameter and from 0.2m up to 1.5m high. Most of the mounds have hollows indicating early partial excavation. Skinner excavated three of the barrows in 1827 and found an urn containing ashes and a cremation, some flints and in a separate barrow an urn of ‘superior workmanship’. One barrow was excavated by Gray and revealed a cremation, 14 fragments of Bronze Age pottery and many flints including four knives, a scraper and two saws. The area within the hillfort has been subject to past stone quarrying.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-200348 and 200345

National Grid Reference: ST 66623 40624

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1006175 .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 22-Oct-2017 at 06:28:15.

End of official listing