Slight univallate hillfort at Wain's Hill
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2020 at 12:55:03.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 39085 70655
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. 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.
The slight univallate hillfort at Wain's Hill survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument has an unusual setting and is one of two local hillforts which are situated on coastal promontories.
The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on a coastal
promontory overlooking Salthouse Bay to the north, Woodspring Bay to the
south west, the estuary of the River Blind Yeo to the south and an area of
Levels to the east. The site occupies the crest of a carboniferous limestone
outcrop known as Wain's Hill.
The hillfort has an irregular interior with maximum dimensions of 220m from
north-south and 175m from east-west and is defined by steep natural slopes to
the south, north and west, and by a single rampart to the east. The modern
path enters the monument in the south eastern area and this is likely to
correspond with the original entrance to the hillfort. The rampart defining
the eastern side of the hillfort consists of a single rubble-built bank 8m-10m
wide and 1.5m-2m high occupying the summit of the eastern slope of the
carboniferous outcrop across which the only landward approach to the hillfort
could be made. This is flanked by an external terrace 10m-12m wide situated
further downslope; this was created by quarrying undertaken during the
construction of the rampart.
A quantity of Romano-British pottery has been recovered from within and around
the hillfort while three linear earthworks situated within the southern area
of the interior are interpreted as pillow mounds. These range from 15m-30m in
length, 1m-6m wide and from 0.5m-0.85m high and are likely to date from the
post-medieval period. There is also a Second World War pill-box situated in
the south eastern area of the hillfort's interior.
Excluded from the scheduling are all metalled paths, fence posts and a seat,
although the underlying ground is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Description of the ramparts,
Details of the Romano-British finds,
Interpretation of pillow mounds,
Mention of wartime installations,
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