Hillfort south west of Pond Farm, near Silchester

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008726

Date first listed: 01-Feb-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Aug-1995

Map

Ordnance survey map of Hillfort south west of Pond Farm, near Silchester
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)

Parish: Mortimer West End

National Grid Reference: SU 62678 63078

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 hillfort south west of Pond Farm is part of a complex of earthworks lying south and west of Calleva (Roman Silchester) which is thought to be associated with the town's Iron Age precursor. Despite the levelling of the south eastern part of the hillfort, the remainder survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the monument. It will also enhance our understanding of territorial division and defence in the pre-Roman period.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort of probable Iron Age date c.1km to the north west of the Roman town of Calleva. The hillfort lies at the eastern point of a spur of higher ground overlooking Kiln Pond and West End Brook to the north and a tributary of the latter to the south east. The proximity of the site to Calleva may indicate a territorial or defensive association with the Iron Age precursor of the Roman town. The hillfort is bisected by a track, the northern and western part of the hillfort being in woodland and the remainder in pasture. The pasture was formerly cultivated and the eastern and southern bank and ditch have been levelled, the ditch surviving as a buried feature known from aerial photographs. The hillfort has maximum internal dimensions of c.160m (east to west) by c.120m north to south. An entrance opposed by a short external bank and ditch lies at the western side of the hillfort. The main bank and ditch are best preserved at the western side of the site where both are up to 5m wide, the bank rising up to 2.2m above the base of the ditch. The southernmost upstanding section of the bank, which also marks the western boundary of a field, is up to 0.8m higher than the interior ground level. Both bank and ditch gradually reduce in size around the northern side of the enclosure, the eastern bank having a maximum height of only 0.3m by the track. The bank and ditch opposite the entrance have been damaged by tree planting and felling, but the bank is up to 4m wide, the ditch c.10m wide and c.0.7m deep. There are no indications of internal features, nor are there any known records of archaeological investigation of the enclosure. Excluded from the scheduling are the track bisecting the hillfort and all fencing and associated posts, but the ground beneath 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 24332

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing