Large multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill Camp


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Large multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill Camp
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Tandridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 43252 41726

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 national importance.

Despite cultivation and the construction of the reservoirs, the large multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill survives well with the complete circuit of the ramparts and the interior remaining largely undisturbed. Partial excavation has demonstrated that the site contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date, situated on the crest of Dry Hill, a gently sloping rise in an area of sandstone. The hillfort is defined by upstanding earthen ramparts enclosing a roughly rectangular area of c.10ha. The ramparts to the north east, south west and west survive as three banks and two ditches, while to the south east and north only the inner bank remains as an upstanding earthwork. The inner bank is up to 9m wide and 2.2m high measured from the exterior of the enclosure. The middle bank is up to 7m wide and 1.8m high and the outer bank 8m wide and 1m high. Between the rampart banks are ditches up to 1m deep and 5m wide. To the south east and north the outer ramparts are no longer visible at ground level but the ditches survive as buried features, having become infilled over the years. The main entrance is situated on the northern edge of the enclosure and, during drainage work carried out in the 1960s, an infilled hollow way was identified entering the enclosure at this point. Excavations in 1932 recovered flint artefacts representing earlier occupation of the site and evidence of pre-Roman iron smelting, including iron slag, from within the hillfort. Situated on the west side of the interior of the hillfort is a covered reservoir constructed in 1910 and a smaller covered reservoir within the south western ramparts. Both of these are excluded from the scheduling, as are all fences and fence posts within the area of the scheduling, but the ground beneath all these features 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.

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Books and journals
Tebbutt, CF, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Dry Hill Camp, Lingfield, , Vol. 67, (1970), 119-20
Winbolt, S E, Margary, I D, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Dry Hill Camp, Lingfield, , Vol. 41, (1933), 79-92


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.

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