Cadbury Camp, a small multivalate hillfort on Cadbury Hill


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 45406 72467

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The small multivallate hillfort on Cadbury Hill survives well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed and later re-used. This is one of a number of well-preserved hillforts surviving in the area. Together, these will provide a detailed insight into Iron Age society in this area, its economy and political structure.


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort situated on the summit of Cadbury Hill, a natural and commanding ridge which separates the Gordano Valley from the Somerset Levels. The hillfort has a level sub-circular interior 190m north-south by 160m east- west, surrounded by a double set of ramparts c.26.5m across. The internal ditch is c.2m deep and the internal bank is c.2m high; together these earthworks are c.18m wide. The external rampart is c.1.5m high and the ditch is c.2m deep; the joint width of these earthworks is c.8.5m. The banks are composed of small stones, quarried from the ditches. There are three entrances into the hillfort but only the northern example is likely to be original. Partial excavation of the site by St George Gray in 1922 revealed the presence of Iron Age and Romano-British artefacts from the interior of the hillfort. Additional finds from the site have included Neolithic flint work, a Bronze Age axe, late Roman coin hoards, a quern stone, part of a possible Roman altar of Mars and a brass of Claudius Gothicus.

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:


Details of stray finds from the area, Details of stray finds from the area,
Results of excavation, Results of excavation,


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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