Roveries Hill Camp slight univallate hillfort 400m north east of The Roveries


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011023

Date first listed: 31-Mar-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Roveries Hill Camp slight univallate hillfort 400m north east of The Roveries
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lydham

National Grid Reference: SO 32534 92491


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 Roveries slight univallate hillfort survives well and is a good example of its class. The defences are unusual in the extent and quality of the surviving drystone walling, as evidenced in the limited excavations carried out in 1935. This walling, where exposed, remains in excellent condition and throughout the major extent of the defences will survive undisturbed. The defences will contain valuable archaeological evidence concerning their method of construction and the sequence of occupation. The interior of the site, although afforested, is known to contain stratified archaeological material. Limited exploratory excavations in the central area of the hillfort interior in 1960 revealed the presence of archaeological material relating both to the Iron Age occupation and an earlier phase of settlement dating to the Neolithic period. With the exception of the 1960 sample trenches the hillfort interior remains undisturbed and will contain archaeological evidence throughout its extent. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed and the economy of its inhabitants will survive in the ditch fill and sealed on the old land surface beneath the ramparts. The presence of Neolithic occupation material on the hill, as evidenced by the 1960 sample excavations in the interior of the hillfort, is extremely rare in the county. This is amongst the earliest evidence for habitation known in the Marches and greatly enhances the importance of the site. Such monuments, either considered singularly or in association with others of a similar period, contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern, social structure and economy of the area during the Iron Age. In this respect the smaller hillfort which lies 350m to the north east, the subject of a separate scheduling, is of particular interest.


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


The monument includes a small univallate hillfort and an area of Neolithic occupation situated on the summit of Roveries Hill, a small rounded hill commanding the Camlad-Onny valley and the Lydham pass to the south west of the Long Mynd. The hillfort is oval in shape with maximum dimensions of 264m south west to north east by 110m north west to south east giving an enclosed area of approximately 2.5ha. The defences are designed to make maximum advantage of the natural topography. They include a single substantial dry stone revetted rampart around the south west, west and north sides of the enclosure. It averages 1.8m high on its inside and 3.8m high on its outside and has a largely silted up outer ditch 5m wide and 0.2m deep. Around the north east quarter there is no inner bank, the hillfort relying for defence on the precipitous nature of the hillslope. There are three entrance breaks in the defences, in the north, south east and north west. The northern is a fine example of a deeply inturned entrance, the east and west sides of the rampart curling inwards to form a narrow entrance passage 24m long and only 3m wide. Such inturned entrances were developed to ensure that any approach to the interior of the hillfort could be overlooked and controlled by guards on the flanking ramparts. Partial excavation of this entrance in 1935 revealed that the sides of the entrance were revetted with well structured drystone walling and that stone-built guard chambers were incorporated into the structure of the ramparts. Sections of the walling revealed by these excavations remain visible today. This entrance is approached by a length of causeway 100m long and averaging 5m wide which climbs the hill from the west. It curves into the entrance and appears to be contemporary with the hillfort defences. To the east of the entrance, on the outside of the main rampart, a berm up to 6m wide is cut into the hillslope some 20m below the top of the rampart, steepening the natural slope. This extends around the northern quarter of the hillfort for some 60m before fading out. It appears to have been constructed to further strengthen the defences in the area of the northern entrance. A second slightly inturned entrance lies in the south east quarter of the site, opposing the main north entrance. A portion of these entrance works was also excavated in 1935 to reveal drystone walling of similar construction forming a complex gate system. The third possible entrance in the north west quarter of the site comprises a simple break in the rampart 5m wide. Although there is now no recognisable surface evidence of habitation within the hillfort, limited exploratory excavations undertaken in 1960 in the central area of the hillfort interior demonstrated that archaeological evidence does survive in the interior of the site. As well as Iron Age material relating to the occupation of the hillfort, material from an earlier phase of settlement on the hilltop was also identified. A hearth associated with pottery from the Neolithic period was discovered in the centre of the hillfort while further Neolithic pottery fragments were found beneath the Iron Age rampart near to the northern entrance. These finds demonstrate that the hill had been occupied during the Neolithic period, some two thousand years before the later Iron Age community constructed the hillfort. All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 19181

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Watson, M, Musson, C, Shropshire from the Air. Man and the Landscape, (1993), 14
Watson, M, Musson, C, Shropshire from the Air. Man and the Landscape, (1993), 14
Record no 1221,

End of official listing