Large multivallate hillfort and later park pale at Caesar's Camp
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Hart (District Authority)
- Rushmoor (District Authority)
- Waverley (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 83584 50029
Reasons for Designation
Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between
5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of
concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron
Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC
and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of
permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection
of the power struggle between competing elites.
Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have
ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances
although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may
comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts,
oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally
include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or
circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered,
for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as
raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain
evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include
platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fencelines, hearths and ovens.
Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial
activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture
occurred on many sites.
Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded
nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh
Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere.
In view of the rarity of large multivallate hillforts and their importance in
understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of
Caesar's Camp hillfort survives well with the interior remaining largely undisturbed. Partial excavation has verified that archaeological remains and environmental evidence survive relating to its construction and occupation as well as later re-use. The development of the site from a univallate to a multivallate hillfort gives an insight into the changing nature of the occupation of the area during the Iron Age period as well as shedding light on the specific importance of the site to the local Iron Age community. The later re-use of the defences as the siting of a park pale relates to the social organisation and economy of the area during the medieval period as well as providing an interesting example of the continuing impact of the prehistoric earthworks on the surrounding landscape and population.
The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date situated
on an irregular promontory on the Bagshot series of sands and gravels. The
hillfort has a large level interior c.10.5ha in extent surrounded by a series
of banks and ditches which follow the natural contours of the hill except on
the south side where the defences cross the plateau. There are no traces of
banks and ditches on the north and north-east sides of the hillfort although
the natural slope on these sides is steeply scarped. On the eastern side is a
double rampart; the inner bank measures up to 10m wide and 3m high with the
ditch between the inner and outer bank up to 5m wide and 2m deep. The second
bank is 2m high and 6m wide with the final outer ditch up to 1m deep. The
south-east corner of the hillfort has three ramparts and traces of a counter-
scarp bank continuing around to the southern side of the defences. The
original main entrance may have been situated mid-way along the
eastern side of the site but a recent quarry has obscured the details of this
area. The defences are at their strongest across the level ground on the south
where they are now cut by a trackway, possibly of modern origin. In addition
to the hillfort there are also the remains of part of a medieval park pale
which survives as a bank and ditch situated along the western edge of the
camp, turning south mid-way along the northern edge and rejoining the Iron Age
defences for a short length on the southern side of the monument. The
external bank is up to 1m high and 2m wide with an internal ditch c.2.5m wide
and 0.5m deep. In the 11th century the hillfort formed part of the Farnham
estate of the Bishop of Winchester and by the 13th century the area was
part of one of three parks attached to Farnham Castle.
In 1970 a small trench was cut on the western side of the camp to investigate
the Iron Age defences and the later park pale. This work showed four
phases of construction for the western hillfort defences and demonstrated that
the outer bank and ditch represented a later development of the site from a
univallate to a multivallate hillfort.
Excluded from the scheduling monument are all fences and fence posts although
the ground beneath them is included.
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
Riall, N, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society' in Excavations at Caesar's Camp, Aldershot, , Vol. 39, (1983), 47-53
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