Soldier's Ring hillfort
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007885
Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925
Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jan-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Guildford (District Authority)
Parish: Seale and Sands
National Grid Reference: SU 88014 46205
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.
Soldier's Ring hillfort survives well and contains both archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Together with the broadly contemporary site of Botany Hill, 500m to the west, the site will enhance our understanding of settlement and social organisation during the Iron Age period in this area.
The monument includes an oval enclosure, identified as a slight univallate
hillfort, situated on a steep-sided natural knoll of Greensand on the north
side of Crooksbury Hill. It is one of a pair of similar enclosures within 500m
of each other.
The enclosure is defined by a bank and outer ditch, with additional defences
on the south and north sides, and includes an area c.48m across. The bank
survives to a height of 0.5m and is 5m wide. The ditch has become partially
infilled over the years but is visible as an earthwork feature 4m wide and up
to 1m deep. Beyond the ditch on the north side of the monument the steep slope
has been scarped to form an additional defence, while to the south an
embankment has been constructed providing a strong rampart 16m wide and 2.4m
high. Without such a rampart, this area would have been particularly
vulnerable to attack.
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: 20178
Legacy System: RSM
Ordnance Survey, SU 88/46,
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