Ring Hill camp


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011473

Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Ring Hill camp
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Littlebury

National Grid Reference: TL 51553 38181


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 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 the slight disturbance of a section of the western part of the ditch, Ring Hill camp is generally well preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to its occupation, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument on Ring Hill includes an oval hillfort situated on the summit of the hill overlooking the River Cam west of Saffron Walden. The monument measures 400m NW-SE by a maximum of 260m NE-SW. The defences, which are considerably strengthened by the lie of the ground, consist of a ditch with intermittent traces of an internal bank. The ditch has an average width of 15.5m and is 4.5m deep whilst the bank measures approximately 12m wide and is between 0.3m and 0.6m high. A small section, 100m long, of the ditch on the western side of the monument has been slightly disturbed during the construction of the railway cutting. The area enclosed by the ramparts is about 6.5 hectares. There are four causeways through the defences, facing south-west, west, north and north-east, which are all 10m wide except the northern one which is 5m wide. Which, if any, of these is the original entrance is unclear. At the north-eastern corner of the monument, inside the ramparts, is located the Temple of Victory, (Grade II* Listed) built in 1771-2 and designed by Robert Adam. The hillfort also encloses a cottage surrounded by a brick wall. The cottage, wall, Temple of Victory and pathway 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. 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: 20726

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Audley End, (1984)
SMR NO: 151, Information from SMR,

End of official listing