Beausale camp, a multivallate hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011370

Date first listed: 12-Feb-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Beausale camp, a multivallate hillfort
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Warwickshire

District: Warwick (District Authority)

Parish: Beausale, Haseley, Honiley and Wroxall

National Grid Reference: SP 24675 70135


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

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of national importance.

Beausale camp survives well and represents a good example of this type of hillfort. Within the interior of the site, buried features and artefactual evidence associated with the occupation and the development of the hillfort will survive below the plough soil. These internal features and the defensive ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of the site's inhabitants and to the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument is situated on Camphill which projects eastwards from a high ridge of land running between the villages of Haseley and Honiley and it includes a multivallate hillfort. Beausale camp measures up to 230m west-east and 180m north-south. It is ovoid in plan with its broadest end towards the west. The hillfort has multivallate defences which include an inner ditch, intermittent traces of an internal bank and, beyond the ditch, a second bank and ditch. The inner ditch is best preserved along the southern edge of the site and measures up to 16m. Much of the ditch has been infilled, but it will survive as a buried feature. The outer bank survives along the northern and eastern edges of the site, although largely denuded, and measures 12m wide across its base. There is evidence for a second ditch at the eastern edge of the hillfort. This outer ditch is thought to have originally extended along the southern, northern and western edges of the site but, with the exception of the 9m wide eastern section, it has been infilled. These infilled sections will, however, survive as buried features beneath the ground surface and are therefore included in the scheduling. There is no evidence of an entrance into the interior of the hillfort. It is possible that the entrance was at the western edge of the site and has been destroyed by the construction of Camphill Farm and its outbuildings. There is a slight break in the south-eastern defensive earthworks, but this is thought to be a modern entrance. The interior of the hillfort measures approximately 190m west-east and 130m north-south and is slightly raised above the surrounding ground surface. There is no surface evidence of internal features since the interior is under cultivation; however, these will survive beneath the ground surface. All fence posts, the electricity pole and its support cable, and service inspection chambers are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 21549

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire: Volume I, (1904), 357-8
Warwickshire S.M.R., Further Info. File, No.2655,

End of official listing