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 Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite quarrying, the slight univallate hillfort 260m north west of Brook Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social, economic, territorial and strategic significance, agricultural practices, trade, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, situated on the gentle south-facing slopes of a ridge, overlooking the wide valley of the Ladden Brook. The hillfort survives as a roughly D-shaped enclosure, cut to the south by a quarry, but defined on the remaining sides by a single rampart bank and largely buried outer ditch. The interior measures up to 139m long by 90m wide. The rampart bank stands up to 2m high and is surrounded by the outer ditch which is up to 0.5m deep. The ditch has been partly in-filled and has been re-used subsequently as a track. The hillfort is known locally as 'The Castle' or 'Castle Hill'.
Sources: PastScape 201448
South Gloucestershire 1499