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.

Kingsdown camp, Mells Down

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: Kingsdown camp, Mells Down

List entry Number: 1006219

Location

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

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Kilmersdon

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Mells

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-May-1934

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 143

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

Iron Age defended settlement with outworks called Kingsdown Camp.

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. The Iron Age defended settlement with outworks called Kingsdown Camp is an unusual example with clear adaptive re-use in a later period. Although much is already known it will contain further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its function, construction, development, longevity, re-use and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 July 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 an Iron Age defended settlement with outworks situated on the upper east facing slopes of a spur called Mells Down. The settlement survives as a roughly square shaped central enclosure with rounded corners defined by a stony bank of up to 4.5m wide and 1m high with a 3.5m wide and 0.8m deep external ditch most clearly visible to the north and west. There is a visible entrance to the north east. The outworks survive some distance to the north west, east and south as a sinuous bank of up to 3m wide and 1m high which is preserved somewhat differentially. This area of outworks has been interpreted as a possible outer enclosure or partial field system. The central area was partially excavated in 1927-9 and revealed an outer drystone wall, V shaped outer ditch and an inner ditch. Two paved entrances were located to the north east and SSE. The northern entrance was of Roman origin and the southern entrance was original. The inner ditch produced Iron Age finds including two currency bars, pottery, bone needles and an iron dagger. The ditch also contained a number of burials relating to the later Roman occupation. The outer ditch contained Roman pottery. A number of mounds within the outer enclosure were also examined and found to be composed of local stone, Romano British pottery, flint flakes, iron slag in significant quantities and one had a re-interred skeleton. The exact function of the mounds was not determined. The Iron Age settlement had apparently been re-fortified in the 1st to 2nd centuries AD.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-203188

National Grid Reference: ST 71837 51733

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 - 1006219 .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 24-Nov-2017 at 10:11:50.

End of official listing