Slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013833

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Brentwood (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: TQ 57873 94613


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 150 to 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 included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. 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.

Part excavation of the slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall Farm has confirmed the date of the monument and shown that the surrounding ditch survives well as a buried feature. The interior also survives in good condition and is believed to contain features and deposits relating to the construction and occupation of the monument as well as the landscape in which it was built.


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


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the crest of a ridge of sands and gravels at c.100m OD. The site is almost circular and includes a defensive bank and external ditch enclosing an area of approximately 2.8ha. The bank is visible on the west side of the monument as a slight earthwork. The modified scarp slope between the bank and ditch on this side is up to 3m deep. On the remaining sides the surrounding ditch, which has become partly infilled over the years, survives as a buried feature where it is no longer visible from ground level and the bank has been levelled so that it shows only as a slight break in slope. Two trial trenches excavated in 1990 revealed that the buried ditch is up to 1.4m deep and 3.4m wide with a symmetrical and steepsided profile and a flat bottom c.1.5m wide. Pottery sherds recovered from just above the ditch floor were dated to about the first century BC/first century AD. Excluded from the scheduling are the tarmac road surface, cricket pavilion, all other modern structures, fences and fence posts, although the ground beneath all of 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: 24882

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1903), 283
Bedwin, O, Godbold, S, 'Essex Archaeology and History' in South Weald, (1991), 157

End of official listing