The Roundabout hillfort, 460m west of Barter's Hill Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2019 at 10:53:41.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SP 29932 21420
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.
Despite the southern rampart and ditch line having been partly removed by quarrying, part excavation has shown that the Roundabout hillfort will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.
The monument includes the remains of a roughly circular slight univallate
hillfort known as The Roundabout 460m west of Barter's Hill Farm. It is also
located c.300m north east of a Neolithic long barrow known as Lyneham Barrow,
the subject of a separate scheduling, (SM 21844), and c.650m south west of a
large round barrow known as Barter's Hill barrow, also the subject of a
separate scheduling, (28118). The hillfort has a single rampart which has a
drystone core with a turf cover. This measures c.10m across and stands up to
2.5m above the surrounding ground level to the north and north east and 1.75m
above the interior. There is a single original entrance on the northern side
of the circuit. This measures roughly 16m across and is used for a modern farm
track. The southern rampart line has been lost as a result of past quarrying
which has removed the remains of about a tenth of the monument.
The rampart was originally surrounded by a substantial ditch c.12m wide and,
where excavated, up to 2m deep. This has now been largely infilled to the
north east by cultivation and is overlain to the east by the edge of the road.
To the south it has been lost as a result of quarrying, but to the west it
survives as a visible feature in open woodland.
Part excavation in 1956 provided evidence of the construction of the
rampart and ditch, suggesting that they were built in a single phase as a
drystone revetted rampart and outer U-shaped ditch. It was also observed that
the ditch had been re-cut once it had partly silted and a dumped rubble repair
was made to the rampart. The date of this repair is unknown, but many Iron Age
hillforts were reused in the period after Roman rule began to collapse.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and the surface of the road
running along the eastern side, although land beneath all of these features is
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:
- Legacy System:
PRN 2302, C.A.O., Lyneham Roundabout, (1980)
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