Slight univallate hillfort 150m east of Cleeve Court


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Slight univallate hillfort 150m east of Cleeve Court
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. 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.

North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 46257 65691

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 between 150 and 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 include square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies. 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 slight univallate hillfort situated 150m east of Cleeve Court survives well as one of two contemporary monuments set either side of Cleeve Combe. Few similar sites have been identified in this area. The site will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated 150m east of Cleeve Court on Cleeve Hill, a carboniferous limestone outcrop overlooking the gorges of Cleeve Toot to the south, Cleeve Combe to the north and an extensive area of levels to the west. This is one of two contemporary hillforts which lie on either side of Cleeve Combe. The monument has a gently sloping sub-oval interior with dimensions of 125m from east to west and 90m from north to south. The northern end, which is adjacent to a steep north-facing cliff, is c.20m lower than the south. Surrounding the enclosed area on the south, west and east sides is a single rampart comprising a bank ranging between 5m-8m in width and surviving to a height of about 0.5m. A ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, lies outside the bank of the enclosure. This has become largely infilled over the years, although it remains visible at intervals around the site as a depression c.0.6m deep and up to 10m wide. The northern boundary of the enclosure is provided by the steep cliff face overlooking Cleeve Combe. It is unlikely that the ramparts ever extended into this area. All fence posts relating to field or property boundaries 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 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:
Legacy System:


Account of hut platforms,


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

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