Slight univallate hillfort 115m east of Brockley Cottage


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.

North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 47789 67096

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 115m east of Brockley Cottage survives well as one of a small group of comparable sites which occur locally. The site will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated 115m east of Brockley Cottage on the end of a carboniferous limestone spur overlooking the gorge of Tap`s Combe to the south and an area of Levels to the west. The monument, sometimes known as Tap`s Combe Camp, has a sub-oval interior with dimensions of 132m from east to west and 85m from north to south. The southern end is adjacent to a steep south-facing cliff and the interior gently slopes from the south east which is c.10m higher than on the north west side. Surrounding the enclosed area on the north, east and west is a single rampart comprising a bank, ranging between 8m-10m wide and 0.5m-0.75m high, and an outer ditch. The ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, has become largely infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature visible at intervals around the site as a depression c.0.2m-0.35m deep and up to 10m wide. The southern boundary of the enclosure is provided by the steep cliff face overlooking Tap`s Combe. It is unlikely that the ramparts ever extended into this area. There are two entrances to the enclosure, in the north west and the north east. The largest entrance occurs in the north west and is 8m wide and associated with a hollow way 25m long, 3m wide and c.0.5m deep which approaches from the north. This hollow way is likely to have been produced by the extensive movement of stock probably during the medieval period. The break in the rampart in the north east is likely to represent a second point of entry but is unlikely to be an original feature of the monument. Excluded from the scheduling are the swimming pool situated in Upper Meadow, the garden sheds and all fence posts relating to boundaries, although the ground beneath these features isincluded.

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:


Interpretation of eastern entrance,
The name of the monument,


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

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