Plainsfield Camp slight univallate hillfort


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. 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 - 1007669.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 05-Mar-2021 at 10:58:57.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
Over Stowey
National Grid Reference:
ST 18421 36201

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 between 150 and 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 include square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies. 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. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Plainsfield Camp survives well as an upstanding earthwork, and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the lower slopes of a spur on the eastern edge of the Quantock Hills. The fort is rectilinear with rounded corners, and encloses c.1ha of land inside a rampart and outer ditch. The earthworks are most pronounced across the top of the fort, rising up to 1.5m with a ditch 1m deep, and are shallower along the sides, as low as 0.4m, making use of the natural slope to give a steep external face up to 2m high. Inside the ramparts in places are shallow quarry ditches and scoops. The entrance to the fort is downhill to the east, with a causeway over the ditch and slightly out-turned banks defining a narrow way up into the fort. A second narrow gap over the ramparts at the northern tip is probably not original. On the north-west and much of the north-eastern side, forestry tracks have damaged the ditch, though a stretch survives north of the entrance and this has a small counterscarp bank, 0.7m high. The interior of the fort is very uneven due to former forestry plantation, but a short linear mound running up/downhill near the centre, ditched into the slope around the top, may be a medieval or post medieval pillow mound. Running from either end of this, and also across the lower end of the fort, are broad and shallow scarps, which seem likely to be natural. Slight field banks were at one time noted near the fort, but the monument is now enclosed by conifer plantation. The monument is called Cockercombe Castle on Forestry Commission interpretation boards.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Burrow, I (.), Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in Somerset, (1981), 243-4


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].