Slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement remains 300m north-east of Cleeve Court


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement remains 300m north-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 46298 65908

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 300m north-east of Cleeve Court survives well as one of a pair of contemporary sites to occur locally and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. This site is unusual in that it has an area of extra-mural settlement surviving beyond the hillfort's defences.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement remains situated 300m north-east of Cleeve Court on Cleeve Hill, a carboniferous limestone outcrop overlooking Cleeve Combe to the south 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 includes an enclosure with a gently sloping sub-oval interior with maximum dimensions of 50m from east to west and 45m from north to south. The northern end is c.15m higher than the southern end which overlooks Cleeve Combe. However, the site is positioned 30m back from the break of slope, therefore not fully exploiting the site`s defensive potential. Surrounding the enclosed area is a single bank which has a variable width of between 5m and 8m and a maximum height of c.0.5m. This bank is breached in the east and south-west, the eastern breach probably representing the original entrance. Surrounding the bank is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. This has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature 8m wide. On the north side of the enclosure are traces of a secondary bank c.5m wide which is joined to the main enclosure bank creating a secondary enclosed area of 0.05ha. Beyond this are earthwork remains including low banks and hut circles which represent an area of unenclosed settlement associated with the enclosure.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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:


Books and journals
Thornburn, M, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in Cleeve Toot Fort, , Vol. 2 (iii), (1925), 281


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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