Danesborough Camp: a slight univallate hillfort 420m north of The Knoll


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Danesborough Camp: a slight univallate hillfort 420m north of The Knoll
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011302.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2019 at 03:24:13.


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

Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 92102 34824

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.

Despite some disturbance to the interior caused by afforestation, Danesborough Camp survives well and is a good example of its class. Partial excavation of an area of the site demonstrated that archaeological remains will survive relating to the occupation of the hillfort, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated at the northern end of a small steep-sided spur. The hillfort is oval in shape, measuring some 210m north-east to south-west by 130m transversely, and has an internal area of about 2.4ha. The defences run roughly around the 150m contour using the natural steepness of the hillslope which has been artificially scarped to further steepen the slope and create an outer ditch, the spoil from which was thrown outwards to form a parallel outer rampart. The latter averages 1.5m high on its lower side and is 1.7m from its top to the ditch bottom on the upper side. From the bottom of the ditch to the top of the main slope the scarp rises steeply to a height of 3.8m. The defences are strongest around the south-east side of the hillfort where the main scarp is at its highest and a low inner rampart, varying between 0.5m and 1m high, runs along its upper edge. The earthworks appear unfinished or damaged at the north end of the enclosure where a series of forest paths converge. The main pathway which enters here crosses the interior of the hillfort to exit in the south-west corner of the enclosure. Excavations in this south-western area have demonstrated that the original entrance lay at this position, the causeway crossing the ditch here forming a part of the original structure. Pottery from this excavation suggests that the hillfort is earlier than the second century AD and that it probably dates somewhere between the first century BC and the first century AD.

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
Bradbrooke, W, Wyness, J, Berry, J, Danesborough Fort, (1924)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].