Knoll Camp hillfort, cross dyke, linear earthwork and hollow ways near Damerham Knoll


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010764

Date first listed: 30-Jan-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Knoll Camp hillfort, cross dyke, linear earthwork and hollow ways near Damerham Knoll
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Damerham

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Rockbourne

National Grid Reference: SU 09549 18844, SU 09702 18532, SU 09845 18560


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.

Much of the archaeological landscape on and around Knoll Camp and Damerham Knoll is preserved as earthworks or crop-marks, which together will provide a detailed understanding of the nature and development of land division and settlement in the area. The hillfort survives well, as do the cross dyke, linear earthworks and hollow ways on Damerham Knoll. The close association of these features gives a detailed insight into later prehistoric and medieval land-use strategies. The earthworks were recently the subject of a detailed survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. All will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument.


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


The monument, which falls into three separate areas, includes a slight univallate hillfort and angled cross dyke of Iron Age date, a linear earthwork and a series of intermittent medieval hollow ways on a ridge north east of Damerham Knoll. The hillfort is situated slightly south east of the highest point of the ridge and is c.1.25km north east of the Allen River. The cross dyke lies across the ridge to the north west of the hillfort. The linear earthwork runs along the ridge from north west to south east in three overlapping strands, one of which skirts closely around the northern side of the hillfort before petering out at its east. The hollow ways also follow the alignment of the ridge, cutting across the bank, ditch and interior of the hillfort. The hillfort has maximum internal dimensions of c.170m (south west to north east) by 136m. The bank and external ditch which enclose the interior have been disturbed at the north by the construction of the linear earthwork and by small-scale quarrying, and are occasionally interrupted elsewhere by the hollow ways. The interior has been similarly disturbed. Both bank and ditch are at their most substantial at the western side of the hillfort, where they have an overall width of 16m. The bank rises to a maximum height of 1.2m above the base of the 9m wide ditch and c.0.8m above the general level of the interior. A slight bank and ditch, c.20m long and 6m wide, lie alongside the ditch at the western side of the hillfort and a probable original entrance, c.10m wide, is near its south eastern corner. The cross dyke, an angled ditch and single bank at its north west, lies across the ridge c.38m north west of the hillfort. The dyke has an overall length of c.132m and is up to 10m wide. The bank is c.4m wide and has a maximum height of 0.65m above the base of the ditch. The southern end of the earthwork turns to the west and stops above a steep slope. The feature has been truncated by quarrying at the north east. The linear earthwork, which runs along the north east facing slope of the ridge, has an overall length of c.705m. From the north west, a series of two, occasionally three, parallel steps or banks run obliquely across the slope below the crest of the ridge. Here the feature has a maximum overall width of c.26m and the banks are between 2m and 0.75m high. The earthwork is cut by a quarry c.240m to the south east, but continues after a gap of c.35m as a single ditch and bank. The ditch is up to 7m wide with a maximum depth of 2.5m at the upslope side and an intermittent low bank to the north east. The feature swings tightly around the hillfort, disturbing its bank and ditch, before petering out to the east. The hollow ways converge on the hillfort from the south east, most leaving it at the north west corner to pass between the cross dyke and linear earthwork. They survive in discontinuous and occasionally intercutting stretches up to 50m long and are generally not more than 5m wide and 0.5m deep, sometimes slightly banked at the sides. All fencing, gates, stiles, jumps and associated posts are excluded from the scheduling, although 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.


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

Legacy System number: 25609

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 117
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 64
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 117
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 63-4

End of official listing