Promontory defined by an Iron Age linear earthwork, St Andrew's Castle and additional remains on Hamble Common
- 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.
- Eastleigh (District Authority)
- National Park:
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 48150 06091
Reasons for Designation
The archaeological and structural remains on Hamble Common demonstrate the long-lived recognition of the defensive value of the common, overlooking as it does Southampton Water and the mouth of the River Hamble, and its contribution to the protection of national naval resources in the Solent. The earliest period of activity is represented by the linear earthwork suggested as being associated with an Iron Age promontory fort. Later structures, the 16th century castle, 19th century gun battery and 20th century anti-aircraft gun emplacements, indicate the continuing strategic value of the common and the changing nature of the threats against which they offered protection. The medieval enclosure and linear earthwork give an insight into the use of the common in more peaceful times. The earthworks are well-preserved and, in addition to containing archaeological evidence, the low-lying, wet nature of much of the common will preserve environmental evidence relating to their construction, use and abandonment. The site of St Andrew's Castle will also, despite the loss of the superstructure, contain environmental information and archaeological evidence concerning the construction of the castle. The close association of the sites enhances the value of Hamble Common as an area of archaeological and historical importance.
The monument includes a linear bank and ditch of Iron Age date which separates
the Hamble Point promontory from the western half of Hamble Common, a
sub-rectangular medieval enclosure at the north western corner of the common,
and another linear bank and ditch further to the east, also of medieval date.
It also includes the remains of the 16th century St Andrew's Castle, a 19th
century gun battery north west of the castle, and a Second World War anti-
aircraft gun emplacement at the south eastern corner of the common.
The Iron Age earthwork, a bank and ditch c.300m long, crosses from near the
shore at the south western side of the common to an inlet of the River Hamble
on its northern side. It has been suggested that the earthwork is associated
with a promontory fort on the eastern half of the common. The bank, which is
south east of the ditch, is generally 1m to 2m in height and between 5m and
10m wide, but is smaller and less well defined near the inlet. The ditch is up
to 5m wide and enters, or is interrupted by, a pond approximately midway
across the common; the bank here rises to a height of c.3m.
The medieval enclosure, probably for stock, lies in the north western corner
of the common some 90m west of the Iron Age earthwork. The southern, eastern
and northern sides of the enclosure, consisting of a bank and outer ditch, can
be traced, and it has maximum internal dimensions of c.140m (north west to
south east) by 135m. The western end of the northern side is less well
preserved, but leads towards a modern ditch which may continue the line of the
earlier feature. A short length of bank and ditch extends from the north east
corner towards the Hamble inlet. The bank and ditch are both up to 4m wide,
the bank rising up to 1.2m above the bottom of the ditch.
A bank and ditch also of possible medieval date run for at least 240m from
east to west across the north eastern part of the common; they also lead
towards an arm of the Hamble inlet, but are too overgrown at the western end
for this to be securely established. The bank, up to 3m wide and 0.3m high, is
on the north side of a 2m wide ditch. The remains of St Andrew's Castle, built
in the 16th century, are on the shore between high and low water marks
adjacent to the southern terminal of the Iron Age linear ditch. Three roughly
parallel wall foundations can be seen, set at a right-angle to the edge of the
common, up to 3m apart and between 0.6m and 1.1m wide. Displaced masonry and
scattered blocks of stone lie nearby. The eastern and western foundations,
which are roughly constructed, extend southward beneath alluvium. The southern
end of the central foundation is made of ashlar blocks and tapers to a sharp
Excavation has shown that the foundations formed the sides of a moat and
central pier of a bridge. Excavation also located another section of the moat
and displaced wall foundations c.25m to the east, and a possible wooden
breakwater c.40m from high water mark; these features are not now visible.
The 19th century gun battery is on the south western edge of the common north
west of St Andrew's Castle. The battery, partly enclosed by an L-shaped bank,
occupies an area with maximum internal dimensions of c.35m (north-south) by
c.40m (east-west), within which are the remains of three brick- and stone-
built structures. These comprise an earth covered magazine, the foundations of
a barrack block and the foundations and floor of a gun platform, part of which
has been eroded by the sea. The two Second World War anti-aircraft gun
platforms are at the south eastern corner of the common within the area
defined by the Iron Age earthwork. They are both made of concrete, and are
c.7m by 12m across. The western platform has a disarmed contemporary anti-
aircraft gun set on it.
With the exception of the site of St Andrew's Castle, there are no known
records of archaeological excavation on the common. Excluded from the
scheduling are the metalled road to Hamble Point; all fences, gates, stiles
and associated posts; water troughs; wooden bridges; sign and marker posts;
the beacon post and associated control box, although the ground beneath all
these features 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:
Books and journals
Colvin, H M, The History of the King's Works 1485-1660 , (1982), 547-549
Aldsworth, F G, 'Proc Hants Field Club' in St Andrew's Castle, Hamble, Hampshire, , Vol. 37, (1981), 7-8
Aldsworth, F G, 'Proc Hants Field Club' in St Andrew's Castle, Hamble, Hampshire, , Vol. 37, (1981), 5-11
Aldsworth, F G, 'Proc Hants Field Club' in St Andrew's Castle, Hamble, Hampshire, , Vol. 37, (1981), 5
Ordnance Survey, SU40NE 10, (1970)
Ordnance Survey, SU40NE 9, (1970)
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